You might recall, Sacha Baron Cohen had been lined up to play Queen’s Freddie Mercury in a planned biopic, but the comic actor dropped out of the project reportedly because of differences he had with the group’s Brian May and Roger Taylor over the film’s direction.
In a number of interviews, Baron Cohen claimed that he bowed out of the flick because Mercury’s band mates didn’t agree with his vision of doing a “warts and all” portrayal of the singer.
In a new interview with U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail Brian May has expressed his issue with Baron Cohen’s version of events regarding his exit from the project just isn’t accurate.
“Sacha became an a***…We had some nice times with Sacha kicking around ideas but he went off and told untruths about what happened,” May says: “Why would he go away and say that we didn’t want to make a gritty film? Are we the kind of people who have ever ducked from the truth? I don’t think so.”
As for why Baron Cohen departing the production, May maintains, “We decided he wasn’t right for the role for very good reasons, which will become apparent if you watch what he’s done recently.”
The guitar great adds, “It’s obvious that it wasn’t going to work, him playing Freddie. It wouldn’t suspend your disbelief.”
Brian then brings up the actor who’s currently in line to play Mercury in the movie, in the process taking another dig at Baron Cohen. “We’re hoping Ben Whishaw will do it,” says May. “He’s fabulous, a real actor.”
As to who might portray May in the film, Brian admits, “We don’t know yet. It’s a tough one,” then notes that a director has yet to be hired for the flick. He tells The Daily Mail that once a director is in place, “then hopefully we can step back and just look after the music side of it.”
He adds that while the project now has “a great storyline…the film’s not going out till it’s right.”