September 17th, 2010
12:28 PM ET
Talk about perfect casting: Outrageous British comic Sacha Baron Cohen will play outrageous Brit rocker Freddie Mercury in a biopic about the Queen frontman set to film next year, reports Deadline.com.
Mercury, known for his soaring vocals and flamboyant stage presence, helped make Queen one of the biggest bands of the '70s and '80s with hits like "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Are the Champions" and "We Will Rock You." He died from AIDS-related complications at age 45 in 1991.
Reports that Cohen, 38, would play the singer first surfaced in 2007, though the actor's rep shot down the rumors at the time. GK Films, which is heading up the project, now confirms that the "Borat" and "Bruno" star is on board. Screenwriter Peter Morgan, who previously wrote scripts for "The Queen" and "The Last King of Scotland," is ready to take on music royalty for the film.
GK Films' Graham King said in a statement, “Queen is one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and a music brand all unto itself. Freddie Mercury was an awe-inspiring performer, so with Sacha in the starring role coupled with Peter’s screenplay and the support of Queen, we have the perfect combination to tell the real story behind their success.”
Music rights for the band's songs have already been acquired, and Deadline reports that it's not yet known whether Cohen will do his own singing or whether Mercury's vocals will be used.
Cohen, however, did prove he could belt out a tune with the best of them in "Sweeney Todd," the 2007 musical starring Johnny Depp, who, coincidentally, was also once rumored to be playing Mercury on screen.
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