It is rumoured that actor Ben Whishaw will replace Sacha Baron Cohen in the upcoming biopic of Freddie Mercury. The Guardian reports that drummer Roger Taylor remarked that the actor the band would prefer to play Freddie had the initials “BW”, and when asked if that meant Whishaw, he replied: “Well, we hope so.”
It was reported that Baron Cohen quit the film over creative differences with Queen, but Brian May has denied the rumours.
“It’s quite difficult to talk about because we owe Sacha a lot,” said May “He had so much enthusiasm for the project and it really helped us kick it into the start position. But in the end we felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting.”
May also told The Huffington Post that a director has been found and will be soon announced. Queen are producing the movie along with Graham King, Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro. Other actors that have been associated with the movie have included Dominic Cooper and Daniel Radcliffe but it appears Ben Whishaw is the favourite with the band’s backing.
Whishaw has won several awards for his work, including a BAFTA for his outstanding portrayal of Richard II in The Hollow Crown and an International Emmy Award for his performance as Ben Coulter in Criminal Justice, and has been nominated for various awards for his stage, television and film work. He also starred in Cloud Atlas last year and is the current incarnation of Q in the James Bond franchise.