Tom Hooper May Direct His LES MISERABLES Star Sacha Baron Cohen in Freddie Mercury Biopic

     March 14, 2013

tom-hooper-freddie mercury biopic

In September 2010, Sacha Baron Cohen signed on to play Freddie Mercury in a biopic scripted by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon).  Despite premature production announcements, the biopic has kicked around in development for the past couple years.  Stephen Frears (High Fidelity) was identified as the frontrunner to direct last summer, but several seasons have passed with no update.  At the very least, the biopic is attracting great talent, because Deadline hears Tom Hooper is now circling the project.  No formal offer has been made to Hooper, but I imagine working with a singing Baron Cohen on the Les Mis set was a fun experience worth repeating.

Speaking of Baron Cohen singing: Producer Graham King hinted the actor may attempt to sing all those Queen songs.  Replicating Freddie Mercury is easier said than done (especially if Hooper would make him sing live on set), so we’ll see if that makes it past the Neat Idea stage.  Morgan’s script starts with Queen’s formation in the early 1970s and ends around their 1985 Live Aid set, which you can watch in full after the jump.

Not sure if this is intentional or just coincidence, but I like that the producers—King, Tim Headington, Robert De Niro, and Jane Rosenthal—are seeking British directors to tell the tale of the London band.

Mercury is a fascinating pop culture figure, although this story version of the story reportedly ends before his struggle with AIDS in the latter half of the 80s and death in 1991.  Still, I only know the broad strokes of the Queen story, so I am excited the details realized on screen, especially if someone as competent as Hooper or Frears steers the ship.

freddie mercury

  • amg907

    That’s solid casting for Freddy.

    Not sure how Cohen is gonna handle the vocals though.

  • Germ-X

    I’ve been keeping an eye on this biopic for a few years now and I think Tom Hooper would be a great choice for a director. Let’s make this thing happen!


    Freddie Mercury is one of those singer’s whose vocal range seemed to encompass that of both a man and a woman. Sacha Baron Cohen can do a lot, but I’m not sure he can sing like THAT.

  • GUS

    I bet Tom Hooper directs BOND 24, not this.

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  • KingKong

    Please no. No offense to Tom Hooper, he’s got talent, but both The King’s Speech and Les Mis, while well-made, teetered on the edge of boring. He directs slow, drawn-out films. This story should be edgy and gritty. I’d like to see someone like David Fincher, John Hillcoat, Rian Johnson or Ruben Fleischer take this project on.

  • James

    I don’t think Cohen can handle the vocals of this song, but he’s a dead ringer for Freddie Mercury. It would be a good choice.

  • Zachrifice

    This has been in production idleness for too long. Everyone knows Cohen is meant for this role. Pretty sure he’ll nail every other aspect so it wouldnt surprise me if he could tackle the vocals as well.

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