Brian May: Sacha Baron Cohen "Distracting" In Freddie Mercury Biopic

Brian May has opened up about Sacha Baron Cohen's departure from the planned Freddie Mercury biopic, which it seems is almost certainly going to be a sugar-coated love letter to the late Queen singer.

Cohen walked away from the project in July after spending months honing his vocals for the role, however, reports suggested he fell out with may and Roger Taylor of his planned portrayal of Mercury.

Now, speaking with UltimateClassicRock.com, Brian May explained, "In the end, we felt that his [Cohen's] presence in the movie would be very distracting.

"What led us to that conclusion was the last three movies that he's made - The Dictator, Les Miserables and Hugo - in which he makes outstanding performances, but they're very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances.

"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."

May sought to make it clear that neither him or Taylor had fallen out with Cohen, explaining, "It's a shame that there were these sensationalist stories about him walking out. None of that was true... We owe Sacha a lot. He had so much enthusiasm for the project and it really helped us kick it into the start position."

Reports suggest Ben Whishaw - who played Q in Skyfall - has been tapped as Cohen's replacement. Taylor hinted as much during an appearance on The One Show, stating that an actor with the initials 'BW' was the frontrunner for the role. Others thought to have been considered include Daniel Radcliffe and Dominic Cooper.

The movie is a chronicle of the years leading up to Queen's historic appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.

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