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Despite being one of the most appropriate actors to play the part of deceased Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biopic, Sacha Baron Cohen has reportedly cut ties with the project after butting heads with the remaining band members on certain aspects of the film.
By the looks of things, Baron Cohen wanted a gritty tell-all R-rated tale whereas the band wanted something far more family friendly and PG. The Borat star had approached various directors such as David Fincher and Tom Hooper after developing the script with Peter Morgan, but the draft never made it past the existing Queen band members Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon.
The band wanted the focus of the film to be on the period up until the bands 1985 Live Aid performance, though Baron Cohen’s idea was to put more emphasis in the moments after that led to Mercury’s death. The differences made it impossible to make a formal offer to Hooper, said to be the frontrunner to direct the pic
It’s not been confirmed yet whether the concept was approved by Mercury’s estate; regardless, Bruno no longer wants anything to do with it. The film was slated for a 2014 release, though that is sure to be affected by the departure. It’s not yet known if the film will even continue without Cohen’s involvement.
As well as Baron Cohen, the film was set to feature Blake Lively as Mercury’s former girlfriend Mary Austin, which is far more impressive than early pick Katy Perry.