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Sacha Baron Cohen Bails On Freddie Mercury Biopic After Clashing With Queen Over R-Rating

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 22, 2013 at 5:28PM

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Sacha Baron Cohen

What sounds more rock 'n' roll when it comes to a movie about the magnetic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury: an R-rated drama that portrays the singer from all sides or a PG-rated love in? That seems to be at the crux of Sacha Baron Cohen's decision to exit the long developing biopic.

Deadline reports that the actor has bailed on the movie, unable to come to an agreement with the surviving members of Queen over the tone of the movie—Cohen wanted something more adult and gritty, the band didn't—and they have the final say on the script and director. The last we heard about the movie back in May, Cohen's "Les Miserables" helmer was being sought, and before him, Stephen Frears was apparently close to helming the project while David Fincher's name was floated too. And presumably "The Queen" screenwriter Peter Morgan is still involved, but this kind of delay suggests there's even more work to be done. 

While a couple of start dates had been tossed around at various times—spring was 2013 optimistically touted and passed—it looks like this one might be a while off. A new lead will have to found, and someone who is down with something of a bit more crowd-friendly version of the story. 

This article is related to: Sacha Baron Cohen


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