Sacha Baron Cohen leaves "Freddie Mercury" biopic

July 23rd, 2013

Sacha Baron Cohen has left the planned biopic of Freddie Mercury.

The 'Bruno' actor reportedly exited the project due to creative differences over the direction and focus of the film with the remaining members of Queen, the band the iconic singer fronted.

According to Deadline.com, while Cohen was keen to make a ''gritty tell-all'' about the gay singer - who passed away in 1991 after a long battle with AIDS - the band are more interested in a family-friendly tale.

Cohen had brought in Peter Morgan to write and various directors including heavyweights David Fincher and Tom Hooper to develop the project, but his ideas have been rejected by Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon, the surviving members of Queen. There is no word whether Cohen had the support of Mercury's estate for his version of the movie.

The film was originally planned for release in 2014, and Cohen - who bears a remarkable physical resemblance to Mercury - had been attached to the project since 2010.

Blake Lively was also said to be in talks to appear, in line for the role of Mercury's former girlfriend, Mary Austin.

The original idea for the plot was for it to focus on Queen's career up until their infamous 1985 Live Aid concert. It is unknown if the project will continue without Cohen.