Sacha Baron Cohen Exits Freddie Mercury Biopic

Long-gesting project in search for new lead.

Deadline is hearing that Sacha Baron Cohen (‘Les Misérables,’ ‘The Dictator,’ ‘Hugo,’ ‘Brüno’) is no longer set to portray Freddie Mercury in Sony Pictures and GK Film’s long-gesting biopic of the late Queen frontman.

According to the site’s sources, Cohen’s exit is due to creative differences. The ‘Borat’ star was reportedly looking to make a gritty R-rated tell-all centred on the iconic singer, while the remaining Queen band members were aiming for a more PG-friendly film.

Featuring a script by Peter Morgan, Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson, film chronicles Queen’s formative years; leading up to the band’s heralded appearance at Live Aid in 1985. As revealed back in March, ‘Les Misérables’ helmer Tom Hooper was being sought for the director’s chair.

The long-gesting biopic is to be produced by Robert De Niro’s and Tribeca Production partner Jane Rosenthal, along with Mercury’s former bandmates, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor.