Update: Queen’s Brian May is now saying on his website that Beach’s comment was a joke.
Sacha Baron Cohen is reportedly back on to play late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the long developing biopic about the band and singer/songwriter. Cohen had previously exited the role due to creative differences.
According to Queen’s band manager Jim Beach, Cohen (Les Misérables, Borat) will now write, produce, direct and star in the film. Dexter Fletcher was attached to direct the biopic for GK Films with actor Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) set to play Mercury.
Untitled Freddie Mercury Biopic will focus on the years of the band leading up to Queen’s appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Mercury formed the band Queen in 1970 and served as lead singer until his death in 1991 at the age of 45. Queen has sold over 170 million albums with its best known titles — all with powerful vocals from Mercury — including “We Will Rock You,” “We are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”