Queen for the big screen

Shooting is scheduled to begin next year on the Queen biopic, starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury. The Borat and Ali G star will play the singer in a story that traces the growth of the band from their initial breakthrough in the early 70s, culminating in their triumphant 1985 Live Aid performance.

The producer Graham King revealed that the film’s working title is Mercury. "Whether that ends up being the title of the movie we’re not sure yet," he told Digitalspy.co.uk.

There isn’t a final script for the film yet, although Mercury’s life was not short of cinematic excess. "He led such a big life and there’s just so much to tell," King said. "Then you've got all this fantastic music. You've got to fit that in. It's not an easy one to put together but I'm pretty confident we'll be shooting that next year."

It will be a testing role for Baron Cohen. Most of his cinema experience has been gained playing characters of his own creation, although he has been cast as a gambler in Quentin Tarantino’s next project Django Unchained, which starts filming in January 2012.

The Queen film is unlikely to appear on screens before 2013 at the earliest. 2011 was the fortieth anniversary of the formation of Queen and was marked by an exhibition in London and the reissue of their album back catalogue. The Queen musical We Will Rock You continues to pack in the crowds in the West End and on tour.

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