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Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped out of the Freddie Mercury biopic due to "creative differences"

Jul. 22, 2013by:

Well, it looks like the long-in-development Freddie Mercury biopic is going to stay long in development. Deadline is reporting that actor Sacha Baron Cohen, who has been attached to play the late singer for quite a while, has hit a snag with the bandmembers of Queen, who have script and director approval over the film, and left the project. So, what was the problem?

The reason is that the band wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gifted gay singer.

Apparently, Cohen wanted to bring in directors like David Fincher or Tom Hooper (with whom he'd just worked with on LES MISERABLES), but the band wouldn't approve either, leaving Cohen to exit the project over "creative differences." It's unclear where the project will go from here, as Cohen has been the unifying factor from the get go. I can easily see how the band could hinder the project, though, especially when it comes to telling a "warts-and-all" kind of tale versus a glossy PG fairy tale. I mean, in what universe is a rock star's life rated PG? Miley Cyrus was barely PG at her tamest, so taking a prolific rocker like Mercury and making it into some faux "commercial" story not only sounds grossly inaccurate, but completely boring. Why make it at all if that's the case?

More as this develops. Well, if it develops any further that is.

Extra Tidbit: Who do you think could replace Cohen in the role of Mercury? Is this another job for Daniel Day Lewis?
Source: Deadline

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1:07PM on 07/23/2013
I'd rather have NO movie, rather than a PG (13) suckfest.
Mercury was the embodiment or R, from his lifestyle, to his 'this is me, deal with it or get lost' attitude, from his sex life, to his death...
Nothing, absolutely NOTHING in his life could be anything but R !


I'd rather have NO movie, rather than a PG (13) suckfest.
Mercury was the embodiment or R, from his lifestyle, to his 'this is me, deal with it or get lost' attitude, from his sex life, to his death...
Nothing, absolutely NOTHING in his life could be anything but R !


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+2
1:04PM on 07/23/2013

That's too bad

He would have been perfect and his vision of it sounds right on the money.
He would have been perfect and his vision of it sounds right on the money.
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12:05PM on 07/23/2013

Terrible news.

Sacha Baron Cohen was the perfect choice for Freddy Mercury. He is a great singer, he looks the part, and he is a much better actor than some people might give him credit for. He would have been perfect.

So that's part one of the sadness with this news. Part two is obviously the fact that Queen wants a PG movie? Seriously? What... the fuck. That's all I can say. I could understand wanting to demonstrate Mercury's story in a more positive light so he's remembered as a musical hero, but
Sacha Baron Cohen was the perfect choice for Freddy Mercury. He is a great singer, he looks the part, and he is a much better actor than some people might give him credit for. He would have been perfect.

So that's part one of the sadness with this news. Part two is obviously the fact that Queen wants a PG movie? Seriously? What... the fuck. That's all I can say. I could understand wanting to demonstrate Mercury's story in a more positive light so he's remembered as a musical hero, but I also feel like the real Freddie Mercury would rather have his story be as accurate as possible.

What next? They'll refuse to make him gay in the movie, too, so they don't disturb the children? I wouldn't put it past them at this point.
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7:53AM on 07/23/2013
Why are they reluctant to do an R-rated treatment of his life. There's tons of interviews with Mercury saying how he lived the rock n' roll life and now they want to censor that for a few more bucks in theatres?
Why are they reluctant to do an R-rated treatment of his life. There's tons of interviews with Mercury saying how he lived the rock n' roll life and now they want to censor that for a few more bucks in theatres?
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6:21AM on 07/23/2013
Its dead, shot in the head, by who? The band members. This was Cohen's role, and he would just rocked it! Now my interests for this movie have sunk beyond belief. There was nothing PG about Freddie Mercury.
Its dead, shot in the head, by who? The band members. This was Cohen's role, and he would just rocked it! Now my interests for this movie have sunk beyond belief. There was nothing PG about Freddie Mercury.
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+11
5:54AM on 07/23/2013
I am not the biggest fan of Sacha Baron Cohen but even I can admit he is a fantastic character actor and was the best choice out of anyone to play Freddy Mercury.
I am not the biggest fan of Sacha Baron Cohen but even I can admit he is a fantastic character actor and was the best choice out of anyone to play Freddy Mercury.
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4:31AM on 07/23/2013

Brian may

Brain may strikes me aw a money grabbing asshole thats been living off Freddie for about 30-40 years. This doesnt surprise me in the slightest, i love Freddie, dont mind queen but i detest Brian may!!!
Brain may strikes me aw a money grabbing asshole thats been living off Freddie for about 30-40 years. This doesnt surprise me in the slightest, i love Freddie, dont mind queen but i detest Brian may!!!
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+12
1:24AM on 07/23/2013
nothing about Freddy Mercury was PG why would they do that? To bad this could have been great.
nothing about Freddy Mercury was PG why would they do that? To bad this could have been great.
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12:58AM on 07/23/2013
What a terrible shame. This would have been totally and unabashedly awesome with Sascha Baron Cohen as this movie's driving force, and I would completely buy him as Mercury. Shame they had to have the remaining Queen member's approval... so here's the solution for Mr Cohen:

DO IT ANYWAY. :)
What a terrible shame. This would have been totally and unabashedly awesome with Sascha Baron Cohen as this movie's driving force, and I would completely buy him as Mercury. Shame they had to have the remaining Queen member's approval... so here's the solution for Mr Cohen:

DO IT ANYWAY. :)
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12:25AM on 07/23/2013

KILLER QUEEN

I too was looking forward to a seedy telling of Mercury's life. So, I support Cohen in his decision. The remaining member of Queen (Roger Taylor and Brian May) have made some questionable decisions since Mercury's passing. The posthumous record, playing with Adam Lambert, recording with Paul Rodgers and now this. This is Cohen's role and no one else's. Recasting now is the death of this project. A bio pic like this would have shown Mercury at his best and worst which I believe is how he
I too was looking forward to a seedy telling of Mercury's life. So, I support Cohen in his decision. The remaining member of Queen (Roger Taylor and Brian May) have made some questionable decisions since Mercury's passing. The posthumous record, playing with Adam Lambert, recording with Paul Rodgers and now this. This is Cohen's role and no one else's. Recasting now is the death of this project. A bio pic like this would have shown Mercury at his best and worst which I believe is how he would have wanted. Even in documentary's, Mercury proclaimed having no real friends, lots of sex and drugs and seemingly a lost soul in the world of music. Truly a great talent who's story will probably not see the big screen but his voice will forever endure. I was lucky enough to see Queen twice and those shows, like them all, are great memories.
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12:04AM on 07/23/2013

Don't sugar coat anything!

Man, this is a bad move by Queen. They should show eeverything that happened. The good, the bad and everything in between. It all adds up to what he was as an icon.
If I had to choose anyone now it would be john barryman (?) from Torchwood.
Man, this is a bad move by Queen. They should show eeverything that happened. The good, the bad and everything in between. It all adds up to what he was as an icon.
If I had to choose anyone now it would be john barryman (?) from Torchwood.
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+2
11:36PM on 07/22/2013
Damn, I was looking forward to this. :(
Damn, I was looking forward to this. :(
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11:28PM on 07/22/2013
This is a pity. Sacha Baron Cohen is talented and intelligent and was by all accounts determined to do the real Freddie justice with his portrayal. I think he could have knocked it out of the park and maybe even snagged himself an Oscar nomination for it. This will have to be rated R to be an accurate portrayal of the rock star excesses of Mercury's life. Every rock star biopic worth its salt must have the sex and the drugs.
This is a pity. Sacha Baron Cohen is talented and intelligent and was by all accounts determined to do the real Freddie justice with his portrayal. I think he could have knocked it out of the park and maybe even snagged himself an Oscar nomination for it. This will have to be rated R to be an accurate portrayal of the rock star excesses of Mercury's life. Every rock star biopic worth its salt must have the sex and the drugs.
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+12
11:03PM on 07/22/2013
All interest in this film is now lost for me but my respect for Cohen remains to climb and climb. This was a role he would have KILLED on and everybody knows it.
All interest in this film is now lost for me but my respect for Cohen remains to climb and climb. This was a role he would have KILLED on and everybody knows it.
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10:54PM on 07/22/2013
The main things that had me excited about this bio-pic was Cohen's involvement and it being R-rated. Without those, it could just become another garden variety, made for VH1 bullshit.
The main things that had me excited about this bio-pic was Cohen's involvement and it being R-rated. Without those, it could just become another garden variety, made for VH1 bullshit.
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10:43PM on 07/22/2013

well this blows

This is awful news. I was crazy stoked when it was announced he would play Freddie. He would have been amazing! but let's make a PG movie about Queen. That's a great idea....siiiiike
This is awful news. I was crazy stoked when it was announced he would play Freddie. He would have been amazing! but let's make a PG movie about Queen. That's a great idea....siiiiike
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10:04PM on 07/22/2013

The band is in denial

Mercury was open about his love of sex. He openly talked about going to bath house orgies and doing drugs. If they want a PG version they might as well just release a concert film.
Mercury was open about his love of sex. He openly talked about going to bath house orgies and doing drugs. If they want a PG version they might as well just release a concert film.
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10:03PM on 07/22/2013
I agree with his view of the film. It shouldn't be a PG. It is a shame because he would have been a good freddy mercury.
I agree with his view of the film. It shouldn't be a PG. It is a shame because he would have been a good freddy mercury.
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+10
9:44PM on 07/22/2013
What the hell were they expecting when Cohen got involved? He's not a cushy guy. Hell, not even his comedies are for the feint of heart. He's balls out, and completely honest. Asking Cohen to do a PG version of Queen is like asking a chainsaw to babysit a kitten.
What the hell were they expecting when Cohen got involved? He's not a cushy guy. Hell, not even his comedies are for the feint of heart. He's balls out, and completely honest. Asking Cohen to do a PG version of Queen is like asking a chainsaw to babysit a kitten.
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9:38PM on 07/22/2013
It's cool. Maybe we can finally get the hotly anticipated Bruno 2 in production! It's almost Oscar season.
It's cool. Maybe we can finally get the hotly anticipated Bruno 2 in production! It's almost Oscar season.
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9:19PM on 07/22/2013
It's too bad. I can't think of anyone else but Cohen to play the part of Mercury. And PG? I figured this would be in the same vein as The Doors.
It's too bad. I can't think of anyone else but Cohen to play the part of Mercury. And PG? I figured this would be in the same vein as The Doors.
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9:17PM on 07/22/2013
That's a shame
That's a shame
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9:07PM on 07/22/2013

Fuck

This is the one movie I have been following since it was announced. Sasha would have been perfect for the role. PG? no fucking way.....R is how I envisioned it myself. Sucks though as I was very much looking forward to this.
This is the one movie I have been following since it was announced. Sasha would have been perfect for the role. PG? no fucking way.....R is how I envisioned it myself. Sucks though as I was very much looking forward to this.
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+16
9:04PM on 07/22/2013
Boooo!
Though it's actually kind of nice to get an explanation of what the "creative differences" were for once.
Boooo!
Though it's actually kind of nice to get an explanation of what the "creative differences" were for once.
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8:59PM on 07/22/2013

darn

i'm on the side of Cohen here, a PG Freddie Mercury movie would just be weird and somewhat pathetic. If they can't make the movie right, why make it at all. It's sad to see the surviving members of Queen dont see it that way
i'm on the side of Cohen here, a PG Freddie Mercury movie would just be weird and somewhat pathetic. If they can't make the movie right, why make it at all. It's sad to see the surviving members of Queen dont see it that way
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8:57PM on 07/22/2013
Pity, considering that he'd make a great Freddy Mercury so long as he approach the role in a serious manner like he was on Hugo and unlike his role in the crass, extravagant Bruno.
Pity, considering that he'd make a great Freddy Mercury so long as he approach the role in a serious manner like he was on Hugo and unlike his role in the crass, extravagant Bruno.
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8:52PM on 07/22/2013
Well this sucks. I was really looking forward to seeing what Cohen could have done with a role like this.
Well this sucks. I was really looking forward to seeing what Cohen could have done with a role like this.
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