You can't do a Freddie Mercury biopic without securing the rights to Queen's music, and the band's three remaining members, all comfortably in their 60s -- Brian May, John Deacon, Roger Taylor -- have strict approval over the movie's screenwriter and director. So far they've rejected Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Les Miserables), David Fincher (Benjamin Button, The Social Network), Peter Morgan (writer of Frost/Nixon, The Queen), and as of today Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped the project over a creative impasse on just how squeaky clean and family-friendly the film has to be. According to Deadline Hollywood, the band wants "a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gifted gay singer." Three years ago I posted the movie would end prior to Mercury's getting aids. With all this whitewashing, I'm guessing Farrokh Bulsara "Freddie" won't be Indian, either.
In other gay music movie news, last month Film District paid $10 million to acquire rights to Rocketman, the musical biopic of Elton John. Visual effects veteran Michael Gracey will direct, and said to be starring is Tom Hardy, a casting choice Elton enthusiastically embraces.