Queen on why Sacha Baron Cohen quit Freddie Mercury biopic: ‘We didn’t want it to be a joke’

'Borat' actor pulled out of the project over the summer following 'creative differences' with Queen

Queen‘s Roger Taylor has opened up about Sacha Baron Cohen‘s exit from the long-planned biopic of Freddie Mercury.

The Borat actor had been attached to star as Mercury since the film was announced in September 2010 but this summer he pulled out of the project, reportedly because he and Queen, who have script and director approval, were unable to agree on the type of movie they wanted to make.

Now Taylor has revealed the reasons why, telling Mojo: “We felt Sacha probably wasn’t right in the end. We didn’t want it to be a joke. We want people to be moved.” The drummer also shared his frustration with the amount of time the Mercury biopic is taking to reach the screen, saying: “I thought the music business was slow, but this has been like swimming in treacle.”


Screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) had been attached to pen the film’s script but earlier this month (September) he claimed the biopic is “probably not going to happen” following Baron Cohen’s exit. However, one of the film’s producers Graham King has since told Digital Spy that the project is “still very much alive”.

Meanwhile, over the weekend (September 23) it was reported that Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is being lined up to play Mercury now that Baron Cohen has vacated the role.