Queen’s Brian May Calls Sacha Baron Cohen an ‘Arse’
It's been nearly three years since Sacha Baron Cohen left the Freddie Mercury biopic, but the two parties are still fighting. A new interview with Brian May finds the Queen guitarist taking issue with Cohen's description of the fallout.
"Sacha became an arse," he told the Daily Mail. "We had some nice times with Sacha kicking around ideas but he went off and told untruths about what happened."
Cohen has often said that his main creative difference with the band were over what he considered to be Queen's desire to offer a sanitization of Mercury's life, one that downplayed his homosexuality and drug use. But last month, Cohen told Howard Stern that Queen wanted Mercury's 1991 death to be in the middle of the film, with the second half describing how the band has continued without him. “I said, ‘Listen, not one person is going to see a movie where the lead character dies from AIDS and then you see the band carry on,'” Cohen recalled.
The movie has remained in limbo since Cohen's departure. In 2014, director Dexter Fletcher walked away after only a few weeks, also citing "creative differences." But late last year, the project received a new screenwriter in the form of Oscar-nominated Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything). As for the starring role, they have long been linked with Ben Whishaw, who plays Q in the current version of the James Bond franchise, but nothing has been determined yet. May said that Whishaw was "fabulous -- a real actor."
Queen Albums, Ranked Worst to Best