Sacha Baron Cohen out, Ben Winshaw in as Freddie Mercury

Ben WinshawDid you see the last James Bond flick, Skyfall? Remember the guy who played Q? Now picture him as Freddie Mercury. The Queen frontman, whose biopic is supposed to shoot next year, originally had Sacha Baron Cohen cast in the role of the late singer.  But not anymore.  “What led us to that conclusion was the last three movies that he’s made – The DictatorLes Misérables and Hugo – in which he makes outstanding performances, but they’re very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances,” guitarist Brian May said. “And we thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief – the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn’t think that could really happen with Sacha.”

In addition to appearing in Skyfall, Ben Winshaw was also seen in Cloud Atlas as well as I’m Not There. The biopic is to be directed by actor-turned-director Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill).

What do you think? Is Winshaw a better choice? I think he is; I’m not a fan of Cohen and agree with May that he would have been a distraction. Remains to be seen who will be cast as the other members of Queen.

I was fortunate enough to see Queen in 1982 in Montreal on their “Hot Space” tour (and even got to meet drummer Roger Taylor). It was a great show.

This is one of my favourite Queen tracks, taken from the Queen Rock Montreal DVD:

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