The Harry Potter actor had been linked with taking on the role after Sacha Baron Cohen quit the long-planned film, but in an interview with Empire magazine, he insisted that he would not be the right person to portray the iconic singer on the big screen.
“Everyone on the internet who I presume is saying I’m totally wrong for that part is correct,” he said. “I AM completely wrong for that part!” Radcliffe, who stars as Beat Generation poet Allan Ginsberg in the forthcoming Kill Your Darlings, added: “If I’d seen a rumour about me playing Iggy Pop, I’d think, ‘Hey, I’d have a go at that – that’d be fun!’, but Freddie Mercury? No. I don’t even know who the director is. They seem to be saying it’s Stephen Frears and Tom Hooper on the internet.”
Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen 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.
Speaking to Mojo about his departure from the film, Queen drummer Roger Taylor said: “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”.