Sacha Baron Cohen is set to rock on the big screen. GK Films has announced that the English actor has sealed a deal to star in an untitled Queen project, portraying the band's late frontman Freddie Mercury.
Confirming the casting news, GK Films' Graham King states, "Queen is one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and a music brand all unto itself." He adds, "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."
The film will focus on Queen's formative years, leading up to Queen's appearance at Live Aid in 1985. Peter Morgan is writing the script for the project which is scheduled to start production in 2011. King and his GK Films partner Tim Headington team up with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal to produce the biopic.
Deadline Hollywood also informs that rights to a set of Queen's songs including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions", "Another One Bites The Dust" and "You're My Best Friend" have been secured for the film. It has not been known whether Baron Cohen will sing or Mercury's vocals will be used.
Queen was formed in 1971 with the members consisting of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor. Mercury died in 1991 and Deacon retired in 1997. Since then, May and Taylor have infrequently performed together.
Sacha Baron Cohen is famous for his portrayal of fictitious characters Ali G, Borat and Bruno. His performance in "Borat" landed him an Oscar nomination. He has additionally appeared in "Sweeney Todd" and landed a role in Martin Scorsese's upcoming movie "Hugo Cabret".