Considering how dramatic Queen’s attempt to make a biopic about Freddie Mercury has been, maybe somebody should be working on a meta biopic about the making of a Freddie Mercury biopic instead? At the very least, Brian May and the other surviving members of Queen would probably play a bigger role in it than they would in a movie about Mercury. In fact, this latest bit of behind-the-scenes drama actually comes directly from May, and it involves a pretty sick burn on Sacha Baron Cohen.
Cohen had been deeply involved in the Queen/Mercury biopic for years, but he abruptly dropped out at one point due to the band’s supposed refusal to make it the R-rated “tell-all” that Cohen wanted it to be. He later expanded on this explanation, saying that May and the rest of Queen wanted to focus more on how the band responded to Mercury’s death and not on Mercury himself, pointing out that “not one person is going to see a movie where the lead character dies from AIDS and then you see the band carry on.”
Now, May has responded to Cohen’s comments and, unsurprisingly, he has a different take on why the project has stalled. In an interview with The Daily Mail (via Consequence Of Sound), May said, succinctly, that “Sacha became an arse.” He says they “had some nice times…kicking around ideas” with Cohen, but lately he has been telling “untruths about what happened.” As for why Cohen and Queen went their separate ways, May says that the band “decided he wasn’t right for the role,” noting that their reasoning “will become apparent if you watch what he’s done recently”—with that last bit most likely referencing The Brothers Grimsby, The Dictator, or Brüno. May also says that the band is still hoping Ben Whishaw will star as Freddie Mercury, adding that he’s “a real actor,” which is definitely another sick burn.