Sacha Baron Cohen had been set 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. Queen’s Roger Taylor has since explained why, saying: “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.”
Now Taylor has let slip that the band want Whishaw, who made his first appearance as gadgets guru Q in last year’s Skyfall, to take Baron Cohen’s place. During an appearance on BBC1’s The One Show last night (October 18), Taylor told hosts Chris Evans and Alex Jones that the actor Queen have in mind for the role has the initials BW. When Jones suggested Whishaw’s name, Taylor replied: “Well, we hope so.”
Screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) had been attached to pen the film’s script but last 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”.