Unfortunately for Freddie Mercury fans, the lead actor for his upcoming biopic has “broken free” from the role, delaying production even further. Deadline reported yesterday that Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen left the long-developing film over creative differences.
Surviving Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor hold exclusive approval rights to the script and director for the project, and desired a tamer and more reverential portrayal of their band and former frontman. Cohen, who expected an edgy R-rated depiction of the iconic singer, left the project after butting heads with the band.
Though the actor had originally brought in Peter Morgan to pen the script and various directors, including David Fincher and Les Miserables’ Tom Hooper, none had been approved.
In development by Sony and GK films for years, the project will now have to nail down a replacement lead actor and a director. Replicating Freddie Mercury will be a tall order regardless of the actor, but it will be even more difficult to find one who bears such a striking resemblance to the late singer.