Well, knock us down with a feather, because here's a movie announcement we weren't expecting to hear: Sacha Baron Cohen has signed a deal with GK Films and Tribeca Productions to play legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a biopic written by Peter Morgan, according to Deadline.
If the shock comedian who brought the world "Borat" and "Bruno" seems like an unlikely choice to play Mercury, well, that's because he is. But the casting makes sense on some levels.
While Cohen hasn't played many dramatic roles in the past there's no denying his talent and it's certainly true that any number of comedians in the past have made the jump to serious roles, including industry stalwarts like Tom Hanks.
And then there's the fact that Cohen bears a strong resemblance to Mercury, something few other Hollywood stars can claim.
Still, it'll be interesting to see how fans of both Queen and Cohen greet the news. As for the band itself, well, they seem happy enough with the arrangement as they've signed off on the use of a number of their songs for the production, including favorites like "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Will Rock You" and "Another One Bites the Dust."
Whether Cohen will actually be singing those tunes himself or not is still up in the air -- considering the uniqueness of Mercury's vocal style, they may end up using his original tracks instead -- but fans can at least rest easy regarding the script: Morgan has made his name writing critically acclaimed biopics including "Frost/Nixon," "The Queen" and "The Last King of Scotland."
"Queen is one of the greatest rock bands of all time, and a music brand all unto itself,” GK Films guru Graham King said in a statement. “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."
Consider us officially rocked.