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May 25th, 2018

Screenwriter Peter Morgan won’t be ‘kind’ in Mercury biopic

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.


  1. Grace

    Wonder what was Queen’s response? To Mr. Morgan, we don’t want you to write the script as you see it. In other words, based on your opinion. We want you to follow the facts. Freddie and Queen were/are a fascinating group. Please base their story on facts. Please do justice. If not, then there will be hell to pay. Thank you.

  2. Life long Queen fan

    Agreed. I have been a Queen fan all of my life and I’m not exactly thrilled they are making a movie. I’m not huge on Sacha Baron Cohen taking the role. I would have preferred they get an unknown, biopics are usually better with unknowns (I.E Control). I have an odd feeling this is going to turn out like The Doors biopic that was done back in 1991. That movie was written on pure opinion and granted the performances were good, the movie itself was full of false facts.

  3. Bp251984

    Peter Morgan dropped out of writing and finishing the Freddie Mercury script here is the info that I put on about from my friends twitter:

    Here is the tweet:FanSachaBC A FAN Baron CohenScreenwriter Peter Morgan’s exit in the film about Freddie Mercury,austrian Interview with Radio ORF FM4. If you can speak german you can also listen to the radio Interview.Link below.I translated (with google) the important about the movie:From the Mercury story Peter Morgan has retired.”For this I can zoom the screenplay for the new James Bond. I slipped deep into the Mercury-work, but ultimately I did not want to be crushed between an ambitious producer, a very ambitious director, about the ambitious ex-Queen band members and the brilliant Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie. Too many ideas and wishes, wishing to be reconciled. So I got out. “You can listen to the Interview below,it is in german: Morgan said also that Sacha is not interested in the band.Just Freddie. Peter Morgan was it too stressful. He gave 2 versions of the script to the producers.A another screenwriter has to continue the script.

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