Two of the Classic Rock era’s biggest acts have a life story being planned to hit theaters some time soon.
Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, as well as Elton John, the best selling pianist, are being ‘biographized” on the big screen in the upcoming years. Both works are in production and planning stages, but while Mercury’s film has a dedicated director and lead actor, Elton and his production team are still waiting to officially announce the details. Elton was recently quoted as saying:
“That’s very much in the works. We’re making an announcement about that very, very soon. We have a director on board, and then it’s just going to be a matter of getting the script exactly the way we want it,
As for the Queen singer’s biography, the diva will be played by Sacha Baron Cohen, better known for his roles as the shock-artist Ali G, and the oddly endearing Borat, than for roles as emotionally complicated as Freddie Mercury.
During his life, the singer who could hit a four octave range, was extremely private, and many details were kept out of the public light. In 1987 he was diagnosed with HIV, and soon developed AIDS, but never made this known until 1991, less than 24 hours before his death. This, paired with the controversy surrounding his sexual orientation (“I am gay as a daffodil, my dear” he was once quoted as saying) will make the role extremely difficult for any actor. Hopefully Cohen has the chops to pull it off.
Elton’s biopic, on the other hand, is looking to sign on a much more popular act to play the star. Mr. John has suggested many times that his dream for the biopic includes Justin Timberlake playing the lead role. While they have very different stage voices, it is not too much of a stretch to think Justin could take singing lessons to get his voice to match the 1970s superstar’s. Elton notes that he plans on the film being a “jukebox musical” and a “surreal look at my life,” and if you’re familiar with the style and flamboyance of early Elton John’s stage presence, this won’t surprise you too much. It sounds like it could be a fantastic film.
The Mercury documentary will be produced by Graham King, a Scorcese favorite who produced Gangs of New York. It has been suggested that Peter Morgan will be writing the script, but that has yet to be confirmed. The filming will allegedly begin sometime this year. Speaking about the interesting choice in character for Freddie, the producer noted:
“Who better to play Freddie Mercury than Sacha Baron Cohen? You never know [if a film will actually come together] until it’s done, but I’m hoping [he plays the part]. He’s so talented, and you see a side to him in Hugo that no one had ever seen before. Very emotional, and very heartfelt.”
Hopefully the director’s feelings are true to point, and we see a great Freddie Mercury character come out of the man who’s most famous line is HALLOW, MY NAME IS BORAT.
Elton’s biopic, has a little less planning going on. It’s writer, Lee Hall, also wrote the hit film Billy Elliot and has been in close collaboration with Elton from the beginning. The director and producer have not been named yet, but the singer made a statement saying, “I just don’t want it to be a normal biopic because my life hasn’t been like that.” This is sure to excite any Rocket Man fan.
The two biopics are likely to be hits regardless of the acting talent, but Sacha Baron Cohen seems to have the belief of his director, and no one can doubt Justin Timberlake’s ability to play Sir Elton. We’ll just have to wait and see what becomes of them.Billy Elliot, Borat, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Graham King, Justin Timberlake, Lee Hall, Queen, Sacha Baron Cohen