Comic and filmmaker Sacha Baron Cohen is set to play legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in an upcoming movie.
Deadline.com reports that Cohen, who shot to pop-culture fame with his outrageous Brüno and Borat characters, will portray the British rocker in a flick centered on the group’s developing years up until their historic 1985 Live Aid set.
A rep for the actor confirmed the casting to MTV News.
Rights to iconic Queen tunes such as “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You,” have been secured for the film. GK Films (“The Tourist”), Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Productions and Queen Films are reportedly helming the project.
The announcement comes years after Cohen was reportedly cast to portray the rock star. Rumors that the comedian was slated to play Mercury surfaced in 2007; however, the actor’s rep quashed whispers, telling MTV News the chitchat was “absolutely untrue” and “pure hokum.” “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor Johnny Depp was long-rumored to bring Mercury’s life to the big screen.
Although Cohen is known for his comedic chops, the British entertainer appeared in the 2007 murder musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” which coincidentally starred Depp.
The upcoming movie, which is scheduled to begin production in 2011, is not the first time the band’s famed repertoire has been given the Hollywood treatment. The stage production “We Will Rock You” has been running in London since 2002.
After fronting one of the most popular bands in the ’70s and ’80s, Mercury succumbed to AIDS in 1991. The band’s music continued to reach new generations of fans through pop-culture vehicles such as the Mike Myers comedy “Wayne’s World.”
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