Academy Award-winning producer Graham King has confirmed that filming will begin on a Freddie Mercury biopic later in the year.
Speaking at the BritWeek/BAFTA Film & TV Summit 2012, King, who has produced numerous Martin Scorsese films including The Departed, confirmed that a deal was close which will see Sacha Baron Cohen play the Queen frontman.
“We haven’t closed the deal yet, but I want him (Cohen) to do it and so does he, and he’s the one who actually brought the project to me while we were shooting ‘Hugo’, ” King said. “I immediately contacted the band’s manager, told him how passionate I was about making it, and I think he loved the fact that I’m a Brit living and working in Hollywood.”
He continued: “I’ve always been a huge fan [of Queen], and it’s a story that’s never been told. What’s really extraordinary about Freddie is that while he was so obviously gay and was one of the first major celebrities to succumb to AIDS – he also had this very macho side to him. Guys just accepted who he was and never really cared. He got away with it because he was Freddie.
“We have a great script that goes roughly from the late ’70s to the late ’80s, we’re talking to directors right now, and I hope to start shooting by the end of the year.”