It's been more than three years since a rumor first circulated that 'Borat' star Sacha Baron Cohenwould reprise the mustache for a biopic about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. At the time it seemed laughably unlikely, especially since the look of Cohen's Kazakh character was already based in part on the singer. How could audiences not make the visual association? This question will be answered, because the casting has now indeed happened. According to Deadline, the actor has closed a deal for an untitled film currently being scripted by Oscar-nominated writer Peter Morgan ('The Queen,' 'Frost/Nixon').
Production is set to begin sometime next year with full support and song licensing from the surviving band members. The biopic will apparently only cover Queen's career through their iconic 1985 Live Aid appearance (voted the best rock performance ever by members of both the music industry and press). That's two years before Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS and six years before he died of a related illness. Surely there will at least have to be a mournful end title, but perhaps those behind this film -- including producer Robert De Niro -- aren't interested in a weepy third act.
It's presumable that Cohen secured the gig through two other producers on the film, Graham King and Tim Headington, who are currently working with the actor on Martin Scorsese's 3-D family film 'Hugo Cabret.' The duo has also been recently working a lot with Johnny Depp (on 'The Tourist,' 'The Rum Diary' and the animated 'Rango'), who was the original choice to portray Mercury before the actor became too busy. Cohen definitely is the better likeness of the two, but you know what comic actor bears the greatest resemblance to Mercury? Adam Scott ('Piranha 3-D'). Just a suggestion in case Cohen ends up having to drop out for any reason.
To get you pumped, here's Queen doing 'We Will Rock You' at Live Aid back in 1985. What do you think -- can Cohen pull off Mercury?