Queen’s John Deacon not involved in Freddie Mercury biopic

Guitarist Brian May says his bandmate isn't interested in participating in film project

Queen bassist John Deacon will not be involved in the forthcoming biopic of late frontman Freddie Mercury.

Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw will play Mercury in the scheduled film while screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) has been attached to pen a script. Speaking to Rolling Stone, however, guitarist Brian May revealed that while Deacon had given his approval to the project, he was not interested in participating personally.

May said: “We kinda mourn for John as well as Freddie in a sense. I do know John’s read the script and he’s in approval. He just doesn’t want to be walking those roads. He’s in his own space and we respect that. It’s a shame, because we would love to have him around but he doesn’t want to be in that arena anymore.”

Speaking about Whishaw’s casting, meanwhile, the guitarist added: “He’s a great actor and he’s exactly the right kind of material, because he’s not that well known a face yet but he’s of international stature. The script depicts Freddie in a very lifelike way, but in the context of Queen, which was a kind of family. So it’s about what happens in families, in a sense, and I think people will find it very touching.”

Sacha Baron Cohen had originally been set to star as the singer when 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. Whishaw was subsequently confirmed as his replacement earlier this month (December).