The long-gestating Freddie Mercury biopic hit a snag this past summer when its lead, Sacha Baron Cohen, dropped out over disagreements with the surviving members of Queen over the direction of the film. Cohen pushed for a R-rated and serious take on the frontman while Mercury’s family and bandmates apparently pushed for a PG and more family-friendly angle. Also, it seems that they were worried no one would take Cohen seriously. “We felt Sacha probably wasn’t right in the end. We didn’t want it to be a joke. We want people to be moved,” Queen drummer Roger Taylor told Mojo. Mercury’s estate is still pushing forward with their plans for the biopic, however, and two actors are being rumored to be in the running for music icon.
One of the first names to crop up after Cohen left was “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe. If that seems like a ridiculous pie-in-the-sky rumor, it’s because it was. We’ll let Radcliffe (via Empire) explain: “It’s one of those very, very funny things: it came out of a story in the Daily Star and then you see newspapers like The Guardian using The Star as their source, and it grows and grows [until] it’s ‘Dan Radcliffe is playing Freddie Mercury!,’ which I was never going to do.”
So if not Radcliffe, then who? According to Latino Review, “The Devil’s Double” star Dominic Cooper is the latest actor “circling the project.” Of course, no formal talks have taken place yet and Cooper would still have to pass through Queen’s review. To recap, the Mercury biopic still has no director—though at one point Cohen attempted to bring in Tom Hooper and Stephen Frears as potential helmers—and “The Queen” and “Rush” screenwriter Peter Morgan was tasked to pen the biopic, though it’s not clear if that’s still the case.
What do you folks think? Should Queen have just stuck with Cohen’s push for a more adult version of Mercury’s story or would you prefer a lighter-take on the singer? And who has enough charisma to pull off being one of the greatest frontmen the world has ever seen?