Queen Want Ben Whishaw From 'Skyfall' to Star in Freddie Mercury Biopic

Meanwhile, Brian May explains why the band was forced to fire Sacha Baron Cohen.

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Queen drummer Roger Taylor recently revealed that the band is aiming to hire "Skyfall" actor Ben Whishaw as the star of the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic. Taylor dropped the announcement during "The One Show" appearance, saying that the band is looking at someone with initials BW. As NME reports, the host then suggested Whishaw's name, just to have the drummer reply: "Well, we hope so." Meanwhile, guitarist Brian May gave a thorough explanation on why the group decided to fire Sacha Baron Cohen who was initially named as the film's starring actor. In May's words, the decision had nothing to do with Cohen's acting skills, but the fact that his appearance is in a way too recognizable and distracting for the given role. "It's quite difficult to talk about, because we owe Sacha a lot," the guitarist told 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." He explained further, "What led us to that conclusion was the last three movies that he's made – 'The Dictator,' 'Les Miserables' and 'Hugo' – in which he makes outstanding performances, but they're very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances. And we thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief – the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn't that could really happen with Sacha." May added that the band is still in good terms with the actor, criticizing some of the recent sensationalist headlines in the media. "That's not any criticism of his talent whatsoever, it's just a feeling that it was not going to work - that the pieces didn't fit together anymore," he said. "But we parted company on very good terms.

"It's a shame that there were these sensationalist stories about him walking out," May concluded. "None of that was true. So we're in a very good place with the movie, and we remain friends with Sacha and hopefully there will be another project that we will work on together in the future."

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    well, I know that everyone on this site was totally on board for Sacha playing Freddie, so I think that Brian's just spouting bullshit. They wanted a Disney movie, and Sacha wanted something more gritty. Pure and simple.
    Yeah, good call - I don`t personally think that anyone else would be nearly as perfect as Sasha Baron Cohen for the role of Freddie AND I`d much prefer to see a gritty and real portrail than a soft nothing-movie that doesn`t add anything or maybe even trivialize Freddies life
    Why is it that literally EVERYONE else can see Sacha as a great fit, and aren't even slightly bothered by his previous roles, but Taylor & May just couldn't get past it? I dunno its their movie I suppose, I just think they've made a big mistake.
    "the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn't that could really happen with Sacha" I literally couldn't think of anyone more capable of embodying Mercury's spirit/look on film.
    I remember hearing Sacha left because he didn't like what they were doing with the movie.
    From what I've heard previously with why Sacha left the band, I would've much rather seen the Freddie Mercury that Sacha was envisioning rather than the "cleaner" version that Queen is wanting.
    Personally, I think they should get this guy.
    Nobody understands the fact that Queen already knows about Marc Martel. He's the singer in the QUEEN ORGANIZED official Queen tribute group.
    Are any of you disliking the article even aware of how amazing Ben Whishaw is? He will be absolutely brilliant in the role. Don't believe me? Check out Perfume: Story of a Murderer.
    When I saw 'Perfume' I had absolutely no idea it was a Freddie Mercury Biopic... I must re-watch with that in mind.
    Well everyone was on board with Cohen playing the role... I wasn't. From the start. So saying everyone was for him when they heard the news is generalizing. I actually totally agree with brian on this one. All I would see in the movie would either be Bruno or Borat... Sorry that's just my opinion and my suggestion would be that Freddie be played by an unknown (as of yet) actor.
    When I seen him as Ali G I didn't think Borat. When I seen him in the dictator I didn't think Bruno. This is the man who played 3 believably different characters on the same tv show. He's a great actor and takes his roles to the fullest. He probably said full Freddie or no Freddie.
    [url]http://freddiemercurybiopic.wordpress.co ... [/url]The only one who can lay Freddie Mercury as it should be done is at that above siteHe is the one Queen don't want anyone to know about. Ben is profound when reciting shakespeare , but anyone is! Sacha has never played any believable chracters and wont because he cannot do that- he is a great comedic actor, but he can never be believed as a real character. Ben can act characters that are real people, but so can Jeremy. Ben is a good actor and convincing, but so is Jeremy, Ben does not look anything like freddie and so will never ever convince in the role of Freddie, no matter how good he acts it, but Jeremy will utterly convince.
    I don't agree, Cohen is such a diverse actor, and he has a great talent to adopt personalities for any movie. But I do agree that if they're not going to have Cohen in it, they should attempt to find a new talent - also considering the fact that they don't want the audience to think of the actor's previous roles