Sacha Baron Cohen was set to play late Queen singer Freddie Mercury in a biopic before abruptly leaving the production in July, citing creative differences. Now, the band is singing a different tune about what went wrong.
During an interview with MOJO Magazine, Queen drummer Brian Taylor summed up the band's interpretation of what led to Cohen's departure.
"We felt Sacha probably wasn't right in the end," Taylor explained. "We didn't want it to be a joke. We want people to be moved."
That's a bit different from the rumors swirling around in July, when Deadline reported that "the band wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gifted gay singer." Though it's unclear what about Cohen's interpretation of Mercury would have been "a joke," Queen apparently wasn't amused by Cohen's reputation for over-the-top comedy showcased in "Borat" and "Bruno."
The Dissolve notes that Cohen hasn't had much of a chance to prove himself as a dramatic actor, and the Mercury project would have been a fascinating platform from which to do so, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Though judging by how picky Queen has been about handing over creative control -- they've reportedly rejected high-profile writers and directors including Peter Morgan, David Fincher, and Tom Hooper -- it seems like the movie may never get made at all.
[via MOJO h/t The Dissolve]