Sacha Baron Cohen Freddie Mercury

November 22, 2011 by staff 

Sacha Baron Cohen Freddie Mercury, With director Marin Scorsese‘s Hugo getting released tomorrow, Steve got the chance to sit down with producer Graham King over the weekend. That interview produced a Sunday article with updates on the Tomb Raider reboot. King has several promising projects in the works, though, so today we wanted to pass along what he had to say on two other films set up at his production company GK Films.

The first is the Queen movie, in which Sacha Baron Cohen will play Freddie Mercury. King suggests Cohen may even sing the classic Queen songs. Currently, there is no director attached and the script is still in development because King knows with a subject so iconic, “You’ve got to get it right.” King also talked about his adaptation of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys. That script is also in development, and while there will be some changes in the translation from stage to screen, the “DNA of the movie is going to be the same.” Hit the jump for the full interview.

The part that really intrigues me is the possibility of Cohen singing the songs. Said King:

“We’ll see. We’ll see what happens. You know, Freddie’s got such a distinctive voice. Sacha sang Sweeney Todd. That was his voice. And he’s got a fantastic voice as well. We haven’t quite put them together yet to see the match.”

I generally prefer an actor to sing their own songs rather than lip synch, if possible. But Mercury is a once-in-a-generation voice. Cohen is a decent singer, but I don’t know that he can hit those patented Mercury high notes. (I’ve embedded a clip of Cohen’s singing “The Contest” in Sweeney Todd if you’d like to judge for yourself.)

I am much less familiar with Jersey Boys, but King acknowledges the massive popularity of the property, and the challenges in adapting the stage musical.

“When you transform a stage play to the big screen, it’s never that easy because, obviously, the differences of telling the story and the characters… And there’s much more to these guys’ lives then, obviously, what’s in the show. So it’s bringing that out, and getting all the resource material together to make a movie based on Jersey Boys. The DNA is going to be the same. The DNA of the movie is going to be the same. But you’ve gotta get drama within those characters.”

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