Queen's Drummer Reveals Why Sacha Baron Cohen Didn't Play Freddie Mercury

Queen’s Drummer Reveals Why Sacha Baron Cohen Didn’t Play Freddie Mercury


The show must go on, even when your first choice for the lead in your biopic doesn’t work out. Queen drummer Roger Taylor recently offered a few thoughts as to why Sacha Baron Cohen, who was once set to play Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, ended up being let go from the project…


Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 biographical film about the British rock band Queen, focusing on lead singer Freddie Mercury‘s life leading up to Queen’s Live Aidperformance at Wembley Stadium in 1985. The film gets its title from the 1975 Queen song of the same name. It is a British-American joint venture produced by 20th Century FoxNew RegencyGK Films, and Queen Films, with Fox serving as distributor.

Directed by Bryan Singer, it is written by Anthony McCarten, produced by Graham King and former Queen manager Jim Beach, and stars Rami Malek as Mercury, with Lucy BoyntonGwilym LeeBen HardyJoseph MazzelloAidan GillenTom HollanderAllen Leech and Mike Myers in supporting roles. Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor served as creative consultants of the film.

Principal photography began in London in September 2017 with Singer as director. In December 2017, Singer was fired for absence and clashing with the cast and crew, and Dexter Fletcher was hired to complete the film. Singer eventually retained sole director credit as per DGA guidelines, while Fletcher received an executive producer credit. Filming concluded in January 2018.

Bohemian Rhapsody was released in the United Kingdom on 24 October 2018 and in the United States on 2 November 2018, and has grossed $141 million worldwide. The film received a mixed critical reception; its direction, screenplay and historical inaccuracies were criticized, but the Live Aid sequence and cast, particularly Malek’s performance as Mercury, received unanimous praise