Ben Whishaw Starring Freddie Mercury Biopic

"Skyfall" actor announced as Sacha Baron Cohen replacement.

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Following initial rumors and speculations, Ben Whishaw has now officially been tapped as the new starring actor of the Freddie Mercury biopic. As Deadline reports, Fletcher took over the Queen singer role from Sacha Baron Cohen and has already been meeting the band to get the feel of their story. Furthermore, the same source indicates that the movie is still intended for 2014 premiere. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, the film is to be produced by Graham King, as well as Tim Headington, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal's Tribeca Productions and Queen Films. Peter Morgan is in charge of script writing, while the list of tunes confirmed to be found within the biopic includes "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Will Rock You," "We Are the Champions," "Another One Bites the Dust" and "You're My Best Friend." As for Whishaw, the actor got his breakthrough in "Perfume" and also scored roles in such films as "The Heart of the Sea," "Cloud Atlas" and "Skyfall." Cohen's firing was addressed by guitarist Brian May back in October, who explained that Sacha's appearance is simply too recognizable and would have proved as a major distraction in the movie. "It's quite difficult to talk about, because we owe Sacha a lot," May explained Classic Rock, "He had so much enthusiasm for the project and it really helped us kick it into the start position. But in the end we felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting." Do you think Whishaw is the right pick? Or should the band have stuck with Cohen? Let us know in the comments.

40 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Aryan Death Man
    "Sacha's presence in the movie would be very distracting" You mean successful,not distracting
    Right, because it would be distracting to have an actor known for his flamboyant persona playing a singer known for his flamboyant persona..... /scratches head
    It'd be distracting cause we'd be wondering the whole time how they brought back Freddie from the dead...
    Furthermore, Sacha is a great singer. Even if his voice would be dubbed, he has the experience in musicals needed to nail the musical numbers. His performances in Les Miserables and Sweeney Todd were very strong.
    I remember them saying that Sacha was having a problem with the direction of the film and how it wasn't covering some of the right things enough. I feel that that's the real reason he left.
    It was because Sacha wanted to showcase the darker side of Mercury's life. The band had a different idea, a more family friendly type of film I suppose - which I think is ridiculous but its only fair that the band gets the final say.
    Cohen should make his own movie about Freddie, It would probably sell better even if it was full of name changes etc..
    "Sacha's appearance is simply too recognizable and would have proved as a major distraction in the movie" Sacha's appearance would've made the movie gripping and emotional, which is exactly what it needs to be. Ben's a good actor, but they shouldn't have tried to Disney the f*ck out of the movie. This is pretty much going to be like any other documentary involving Queen, except it's on a higher budget.
    I don't have a problem with the guy. I have a problem with them wanting to make it more media friendly. A warts and all version of Freddie Mercury seems more interesting to me (and I assume a lot of people) rather than the sunshine and daisies one they want to make.
    wow how the hell is having ben whishaw more media friendly? firstly, unlike cohen he is actually gay. secondly, unlike cohen he's a serious actor.
    how is Cohen not a serious actor? He's roles have been way more diverse than this guy, though I enjoyed him in Perfume.
    You haven't been following the news about this movie, have you?
    Don't see why Cohen's presence would have been so distracting,he has a knack for disappearing into his roles and he would have probably been captivating as Freddie
    Isn't it the point for you to be distracted by the main character anyway..? I mean, it's their job to have your attention. It's just an excuse to get rid of him.
    matteo cubano
    May explained TO classic rock* in addition, Jamie Fox as Ray, Joaquin Phoenix as Cash, I dont knoW anyone else but I thought they were great and not distracting in the least. Great actors draw your attention away from who they are and become the character they portray. Sacha is well capable of that level of acting. Plus he looks just like Freddie, this guy...nah.
    they should have canned the whole thing after getting rid of Sacha. This movie will not be good..
    Jesus people! You slam on a movie that hasn't even started filming yet. Who the **** cares if Sasha would have made the movie good... Does that mean that Ben can't? Oh wait... No it doesn't. Shut the **** up wait for the movie and THEN criticize it. I'm still stoked about the movie and I don't give a shit who plays Freddie as along as he does him justice. And I don't see any reason why Ben couldn't.
    Jesus winnetouch! You slam on people for having their own opinion without even taking a chill pill! etc. etc.
    It was the reason why he was fired. It was because Cohen wanted to make it a warts and all film, and Queen didn't want that so they fell out and Cohen left the production. It's not going to be the proper version of what happened, it's going to be biased because they are all involved in it.
    I wouldn't necessarily say they are biased because they were in the band.. but they definitely stated that they wanted it to be a family friendly film. But have you seen the doors movie? That's a good case of the director not listening to the band and fabricating EVERYTHING. That movie was awful. I hope this will be good.. I was looking forward to cohens version. Oh well.
    I don't think I'll be able to view this as much as a Freddie Mercury movie with this guy. He just doesn't look the part.
    It's another classic case of judgement before the final product. Let me run you back to 2008. In the Dark Knight, Heath Ledger played the Joker. A lot of people thought, "Dear god, not that gay guy from Brokeback Mountain. Batman's a love-story now and he's gay for the Joker, blah blah blah." Now, either go watch Heath's performance or read some reviews, and you'll see he etched his legacy in the film industry with that role. Granted he's done other wonderful movies as well, but none received the same amount of attention as him playing the Joker in a Batman flick. Imagine that? A film that turned out to be good when everyone hated it just by learning who one of the lead actors were. All this amounts to is don't say a word until you've seen the movie.
    I don't see the point in making a movie about Freddie Mercury that is going to be almost entirely void of his actual struggles in life. The excuse May gave for getting rid of Cohen is just a joke. I won't be watching this movie.
    This guy featured in Skyfall? Was he that computer nerd? Jeez. This movie is gonna suck on so many levels. And all of that will be twice as painful because it's about a musician we all love...
    He wasn't just in Skyfall, he also does a BBC drama called The Hour. He's a very good actor. Still would have preferred Baron Cohen as he's the spitting image of Freddie.
    Perfume is a fantastic film made even more fantastic by Wishaw's performance
    He was also one of the actors that played Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There". In my opinion, he was the best one. He did a great job.
    Yep! He was great in "I'm Not There"... but I still think Cate Blanchett did the best.
    I believe he played Keith Richards in a movie about the death of Brian Jones and that was alright so maybe this could work. (I'm not saying that Keith and Freddie are similar)