Rollingstone posted a good interview with Brian May that addresses all the movie rumours and news.
[italic] As far as the Freddie biopic, why did Sacha Baron Cohen drop out?
There was a story put out by Sacha's publicist -- I think that's where it came from -- that Sacha had walked out in disgust because we didn't want to make a film with the kind of script we approved. But none of that was true. We parted amicably. We're still in touch and we're still good friends. We just came to the conclusions that it wasn't going to work with Sacha in the leading role. He's brilliant. But we felt that having Sacha in there would be so distracting because he's such a powerful persona and the characters he makes tend to stand out in a way that wouldn't be suitable for the film. Freddie has to be, in this movie, completely believable. You have to not question for an instant that you're watching Freddie, and that couldn't have happened with Sacha.
When did you realize all that?
It didn't occur to us straight away. We were excited by the project because Sacha is such an originator and such an entertainer and he came to us with a lot of great thoughts and great ideas and a lot of enthusiasm. No, it dawned on us slowly as we started to look at what he had done in Hugo. I don't know if you saw it ... and in Les Miserables and in The Dictator. The more we looked at it, we thought, "No, this isn't going to work," and I think that anyone who sees those films will probably have the same feelings. We really were enjoying working with him, but you just have to come to a realistic decision in the end.
There was a report that Sacha wanted the film to be more R-rated and you wanted a more family-friendly movie.
Well, that was all crap. That was all made up by some publicist somewhere. That's not the case. Anyone who knows us knows that we're not people who duck real issues and we've never ducked being outrageous if it was the right thing at the right time.
Now you have a new star, Ben Whishaw.
Roger mentioned Ben in an interview a few months ago. I think he got carried away. But that's fine. He wasn't the only person we were talking to. But he's a great actor and he's exactly the right kind've material, because he's not that well known a face yet but he's of international stature. The script depicts Freddie in a very lifelike way, but in the context of Queen, which was a kind've family. So it's about what happens in families, in a sense, and I think people will find it very touching.
How difficult was it to dig into Freddie's personal life?
It's a question of how much is comfortable and how much can you deal with discomfort. Because it's our personal lives too. How much were you going to say about all the people that were still alive? There's a whole nest of worms to be negotiated in this kind've movie. [/italic]