ENTERTAINMENT
23/07/2013 08:09 BST

Sacha Baron Cohen Ditches Role As Queen Frontman Freddie Mercury After 'Clashing With Producers'

He seemed like the perfect choice to play legendary rock star Freddie Mercury, but Sacha Baron Cohen has now pulled out of the biopic about the Queen frontman.

Three years after being cast in a film, Cohen has reportedly dropped out of the project due to "creative differences".

sacha baron cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen

According to Deadline.com. Cohen wanted the film to be an R-rated look at Mercury's life and death, while the band - which has "script and director approval" - had hoped for a PG feature.

And industry newspaper Variety said the actor's manager confirmed the news, stating Baron Cohen clashed with producers over the film's tone.

freddie mercury

Freddie Mercury

The news is surprising, not just because Baron Cohen has long wanted to play Mercury but also because in October of last year, Queen guitarist Brian May posted an update about the film on his website and sounded excited about its progress.

Ah … I promised news of yesterday's Queen band meeting. Well, it was just Roger and Jim Beach and myself … we are a small cottage industry !! Our main agenda was the Freddie film … which, I'm happy to tell you, is on course. Much of our discussion was about contractual things … it's pretty complex …. and determining who is responsible for what. The pieces are all falling into place, though we are now on a slightly later schedule - filming is now scheduled to start in the Spring, with Sacha Baron Cohen playing Freddie. The film should be ready for release early in 2014.

As Britain's highest-earning actor in America, Baron Cohen has a lot of power in Hollywood. The comedy star sprang to fame in 1998 as Staines-dwelling Ali G - complete with ghastly yellow tracksuits and tacky 'bling' - and raked in £20 million in 2012 alone thanks to his hit film 'The Dictator'.

The question is, who should play Freddie now? Let us know in the comments below.

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