Deadline broke the news yesterday that Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped out of the Freddie Mercury biopic that he’s been working on for a couple of years. Queen has creative approval of the film and apparently Cohen was pushing for a “gritty” R-rated version of Freddie’s story while the band wanted it to be more PG. It’s really too bad because, as widely noted, the physical resemblance is so strong.
But are you confused? What is the problem here?
Is it that Queen is being pissy because they want the movie to be more about the surviving members of the band with equal weight to Freddie? Well, if it’s about ego, they’re dumb assholes.
If it’s not about ego and about what is and isn’t restricted content, this might be a different discussion. If the rock star lifestyle is what’s being considered R-rated here, I don’t necessarily disagree (although, you know, Johnny Cash certainly led a rock star life and Walk The Line was PG-13). But if the gay lifestyle is what’s being considered R-rated, well, to me that’s ridiculous. That Freddie had sex with men is not R-rated. That Freddie died of AIDS is not R-rated. I really hope that’s not what’s being defined here as “gritty”. Because if that’s the case, we’re really not getting anywhere.