Borat star has bowed out of forthcoming biopic over creative differences with Queen singer’s former bandmates, reports say
Sacha Baron Cohen has quit a high-profile forthcoming biopic of Freddie Mercury after “creative differences” with the singer’s band, Queen, reports Deadline.
The Borat star apparently walked after his vision of a racy treatment depicting Mercury’s famously salacious lifestyle was at odds with the more family-friendly approach desired by the singer’s erstwhile bandmates. Cohen, who was due to play the flamboyant singer in a rare dramatic role, had brought in Peter Morgan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Queen, to work on the script and lined up film-makers of the calibre of David Fincher or The King’s Speech‘s Tom Hooper to potentially direct.
The film – which is based on the life story of one of the most iconic singers of the 20th century, and with an awards season-friendly team in the background – had all the ingredients of a strong contender for Oscars glory. Gay themes have never been more popular with film-makers at a time when the campaign to recognise same-sex marriage is making progress in the western world. Sean Penn won the best actor prize in 2009 for his portrayal of the slain gay politician Harvey Milk, and Michael Douglas would have been a likely contender for next year’s awards had Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra, not fallen foul of Oscars rules by screening on TV first in the US.
Cohen also bears a strong resemblance to Mercury, who died of Aids-related illness in 1991, although at 6ft 3in, the British actor is a good six inches taller than the Zanzibar-born singer.
The Mercury biopic will go ahead with another actor. Its producers include Graham King and Robert De Niro.
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‘America is running away like rats’: Watch angry Kurds blame US troops for dead babies as they withdraw
The Associated Press obtained video of Kurds pelting American military vehicles with fruit as they withdrew from Syria.
The video was first captured by a Kurdish news agency, the AP said in a report on Monday.
“Like rats, America is running away,” one man shouted in Arabic. Another shouted obscenities and talked of babies in Kurdish-held Syria who had died in the Turkish offensive.
The scene encapsulated the Kurds’ feelings of betrayal and added a new indignity to a US withdrawal that has been rushed and involved several close brushes with Turkish-backed forces.
Julián Castro says his campaign is ‘in dire need’ of funds – and he’s out if he can’t raise $800K in ten days
Julián Castro says he will have to pull out of the Democratic presidential primary if he does not raise $800,000 in the next ten days. Castro, a former HUD Secretary, says he will be forced to stop campaigning if he does not reach his financial goals by the end of the month.
“The truth is, for our campaign, these debates have offered our only guaranteed opportunity to share my vision with the American people,” Castro said in an email to supporters, as Buzzfeed reports.
Legal scholar exposes the absolutely bonkers ‘missing link’ in Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine conspiracy theory
Ryan Goodman, a professor at New York University School of Law, has written a new article with NYU colleague Alex Potcovaru exposing the direct link between President Donald Trump's request to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory pinning the blame on Ukraine for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Writing at Just Security, Goodman and Potcovaru examine past statements made by Giuliani both on cable news shows and on social media, and have discovered that Giuliani's efforts to get Ukraine to probe the 2016 election are also an effort to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.