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Sacha Baron Cohen to Play Queen Singer Freddie Mercury

(Bauer Griffin)

Sacha Baron Cohen is about to dive head-first into a new character, but not for laughs this time. The notorious funnyman will be taking his first lead dramatic role playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a bio-pic about the singer, who died of complications with AIDS in 1991.

Deadline reports
that a script is currently in the works written by Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan with Robert De Niro's production company attached to the project, which would be due out sometime next year. Most importantly, Queen has licensed its entire catalog for the film. While Sacha's work in Borat and Bruno have won him a global audience, a role of this stature could make him an entirely different kind of property in Hollywood. It's unclear for now whether he would actually have to sing for the role, but Freddie Mercury's vocals are known to be incredibly difficult to emulate.

GK Films partner Graham King confirmed the news Thursday.

“Queen is one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and a music brand all unto itself,” he said in a statement. “Freddie Mercury was an awe-inspiring performer, so with Sacha in the starring role coupled with Peter’s screenplay and the support of Queen, we have the perfect combination to tell the real story behind their success.”

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