"There was a lot of talk about different people playing Freddie Mercury".
The producer of Bohemian Rhapsody has revealed that Sacha Baron Cohen was never officially attached to the project, despite being an early frontrunner to play Freddie Mercury.
It was initially believed that Baron Cohen would play Mercury when the film was announced in September 2010 but he ultimately departed some three years later.
However, producer Graham King has now insisted that Baron Cohen was never actually attached to the film in an official capacity – and Rami Malek was the only star who officially signed up.
“There was a lot of talk about different people playing Freddie Mercury and no one was actually signed to play Freddie Mercury, no one was attached to play Freddie Mercury until Rami Malek,” King admitted at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast.
King also discussed the departure of original director Bryan Singer and praised Malek’s ability to steer the film through uncertain times.
“It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his mother was very sick, and he’s the kind of guy that he needs to have 100% focus,” he said.“He just said, I want to hiatus the film, and deal with what he had going on in his life. And the studio wanted to finish the film.
“And of course, my job is to protect the film at any cost and that’s what I was there to do.”
King added: “We were such a family by then, Rami [Malek] was driving that train every morning.
“We just all did what we had to do to get the movie finished.”