Stephen Frears frontrunner to direct the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic

According to Variety, British filmmaker and twice Academy Award-nominee Stephen Frears looks set to deliver a second Queen biopic, having emerged as the frontrunner to helm the upcoming film based on the life of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Although negotiations are yet to get underway between Frears and producer Graham King (Hugo), Variety’s source suggests that “several other filmmakers remain in the mix for the coveted gig, but Brit helmer Frears appears to have the inside track for the job”.

The as-yet-untitled feature film is set to explore Queen’s formative years, culminating with their legendary appearance at 1985’s Live Aid, and the producers have secured the rights to a number of Queen’s hits, including classics such as Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator) is expected to secure the role of Freddie Mercury, but there’s no word yet on possible candidates for the roles of Mercury’s fellow band members Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon.

In addition to his 2006 drama The Queen, Frears’ credits include My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Grifters (1990), Mary Reilly (1996), High Fidelity (2000), Dirty Pretty Things (2002) and Tamara Drewe (2010), and he is currently busy directing Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight for HBO. Frears’ next film, Lay the Favourite, is scheduled for release later this year, while he’s also attached to a remake of the 2011 Greek feature documentary The Bengali Detective.

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