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Sasha Baron Cohen to Star as Freddie Mercury

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sasha Baron Cohen, the comedic genius behind characters like Ali G and Borat, is slated to portray one of the sadder life stories in rock history, that of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.

    "We have Sacha Baron Cohen, which will probably be a shock to a lot of people, but he's been talking with us for a long time,"Queen guitarist Brian May told the BBC.

    The film will focus on the run-up to the band's performance at Live Aid in 1985, a set that included such classics as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are The Champions," as well as "Radio Ga Ga," which has to be in the conversation of worst songs of the '80s.

    Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, was one of rock's great showman, and among its first AIDS casualties. Tragically, Mercury felt it necessary to hide his illness for the last years of his life, subjecting himself to increased scrutiny from the tabloids and paparazzi as his appearance worsened dramatically. Less than 24 hours after announcing the truth about his HIV status, Mercury died on Nov. 24, 1991.

    The script is being written by th Peter Morgan, who in since 2006 has penned "The Last King of Scotland," "The Queen" and "Frost/Nixon," among others.

    The production, which is scheduled to being shooting next year, will be a joint venture between GK Films and Robert De Niro's company, Tribeca.

    (/blogs/popcornbiz)