Love it or hate it, Sacha Baron Cohen is seriously set to play Queen’s late frontman Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic of the legendary musician, and a screenplay for the movie is already in the works. British screenwriter Peter Morgan, whose latest work “Hereafter” starring Matt Damon, hits the cinemas later this month, claimed in an interview to Hitfix that Cohen, eager to play his dream part, first approached him to write a screenplay for Mercury biopic over two years ago and kept on insisting ever since. Morgan continued refusing the offer, since he didn’t really know the story of the band.
However, the screenplay is finally happening, and in great part thanks to other Queen members, who agreed for their parts of the story to be told in the film. While thankful for their cooperation, Morgan informed the musicians he would tell the story as he sees it: “I’ve told them, ‘I won’t be particularly kind.’ I’m only gonna do this if I have editorial independence.”
Morgan, with screenwriter’s career spanning 20 years and two Oscar nominations behind his belt, has long earned a reputation of a intelligent and literate writer, whose best known works include “The Last King of Scotland,” “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon.” Still it’s hard to predict what he can make of a musical biopic, which seems like a completely alien territory for him.
However, much more concerned many of Queen’s fans surely are about the main star of the future film. While Cohen’s resemblance to Mercury is undeniable as is his acting talent, most viewers are used to seeing him as a grotesque comedian, often reaching beyond the point of obscene in order to achieve the desired comic effect. Thus indeed it’s not easy imagining him in a role of a man who became a hero for millions. But what’s also definitely true is that that the story of Queen and Mercury – one of the greatest musicians of 20th century – definitely deserves to be told onscreen. Just please, Mr. Cohen and Mr. Morgan – don’t disappoint us.