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Freddie biopic back on with Cohen

UPDATE: Brian May has reported that the comments giving rise to this report were made as a joke.

Find out more. Original report follows:

The long-awaited Freddie Mercury biopic appears to be back on schedule after Queen manager Jim Beach announced that Sacha Baron Cohen has taken charge of the project.

The Borat and Ali G star was dropped in 2013, with guitarist Brian May saying it “wasn’t going to work.” James Bond cast member Ben Whishaw was named as his replacement.

Then Director Dexter Fletcher was “let go” in March last year after producer Graham King said script issues were “taking too long to fix.”

But Consequence Of Sound reports that Beach said on Friday: “You’ve probably followed the saga of the famous Freddie Mercury biopic which has been developing in Hollywood for the last seven years.

“An important breakthrough is that we have now managed to persuade Sacha Baron Cohen to write, produce and direct the movie – and he has also agreed to star.”

No production schedule has been confirmed, but it’s thought work could begin later this year.

Beach also reported that a follow-up to Queen musical We Will Rock You, entitled We Will Rock You II, has been written by Ben Elton. May and Roger Taylor recently completed a UK tour with Adam Lambert fronting the band, while 1975 classic track Bohemian Rhapsody topped yet another popularity poll earlier this month.

Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.