GK Films taps 'Borat' thesp for biopic; Peter Morgan to write

Sacha Baron Cohen will star in a Freddie Mercury bio­pic for Graham King’s GK Films in partnership with Robert De Niro’s and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Prods. and Queen Films.

Peter Morgan (“Frost/Nixon”) is scripting the untitled film, which will focus on the years leading up to Queen’s appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Production is set to begin next year.

Mercury, a native of Zanzibar, formed Queen in 1970 and served as lead singer until his death in 1991 at the age of 45. Queen has sold more than 170 million albums. Its best-known titles — all sporting powerful vocals from Mercury — include “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“Freddie Mercury was an awe-inspiring performer, so with Sacha in the starring role coupled with Peter’s screenplay and the support of Queen, we have the perfect combination to tell the real story behind their success,” King said in a statement.

Baron Cohen is starring in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo Cabret,” also produced by GK Films. Morgan wrote “Hereafter,” directed by Clint Eastwood, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival.

Baron Cohen is repped by WME. Morgan is repped by UTA in the United States and Independent Talent Group in the U.K.

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