James Bond star Ben Whishaw is Queen’s choice to play Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biopic of the rock icon.
Speaking on the BBC’s One Show, Queen drummer Roger Taylor said that the actor the band wanted had the initials “BW”, and when asked if that meant Whishaw, he replied: “Well, we hope so.”
The news comes after guitarist Brian May explained the reasons why Sacha Baron Cohen, the actor originally attached to play Mercury, was no longer involved in the project.
Talking to Classic Rock magazine, May said “we felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting”.
“What led us to that conclusion was the last three movies that [Baron Cohen has] made – The Dictator, Les Miserables and Hugo – in which he makes outstanding performances, but they’re very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances,” May said.
“And we thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief – the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn’t that could really happen with Sacha.”
Whishaw, who played Q in the recent 007 filmSkyfall, becomes the latest name associated with the high profile role since Baron Cohen’s departure – others included Daniel Radcliffe and Dominic Cooper.