star Sacha Baron Cohen is set to play Queen front man Freddie Mercury in a film to begin production in 2011.
According to Deadline New York
, Peter Morgan is already working on a script that will focus on the rock band's early years leading up to their acclaimed Live Aid performance in 1985. GK Films partners Graham King and Tim Headington will finance the film and produce in partnership with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal's Tribeca Productions and Queen Films.
"A rights package has been set that includes the band's tunes, including 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'We Will Rock You,' 'We Are the Champions,' 'Another One Bites The Dust' and 'You're My Best Friend,'" reports Deadline New York. "It is unclear whether Baron Cohen will sing--I'm told he can sing--or whether Mercury's vocals will be used. Nobody sang like Mercury, so trying to replicate him would be a tall order. These decisions will be made as a director gets hired. Mercury died November 24, 1991 of complications from AIDS. Though his death helped to remove the stigma of AIDS sufferers prevalent at that time and particularly in the rock music industry, Mercury's last days won't be the subject of the film."