I don’t know if the just-announced casting of Sacha Baron Cohen in a biopic about late flamboyant Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is an inspired idea, or a dreadful one. The producers presumably reached out to Cohen not just because he physically resembles Mercury but because image-wise he’s steeped in the realm of gay flamboyance. Mercury was fairly Bruno-ish himself — one of the first openly gay performers in mainstream rock, making no bones about being a Taxi Zum Klo-ish enthusiast.
GK Films’ Graham King is co-producing the Mercury biopic with Robert De Niro‘s Tribeca Productions and Queen Films. Screenwriter Peter Morgan (Hereafter, The Queen) is reportedly working on a script. The as-yet-untitled film will not end with Mercury’s death but “Queen’s barnstorming appearance at the 1985 Live Aid concert in London,” according to this HuffPost story.
I’ve always found “Don’t Stop Me Now” — written and sung by Mercury — one of the more touching Queen songs. It’s basically a celebration of a lifestyle fueled by a series of mad sexual adventures with a string of partners. Mercury is singing about what makes his life worth living and what turns him on and how he loves it, and it killed him. He essentially died as a result of promiscuity during the peak AIDS danger era (late 80s, early ’90s).