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Tom Hooper Circles Sacha Baron Cohen’s Freddie Mercury Biopic

Written by on March 14, 2013 

There were many words spoken about Les Misérables, and although some were positive, there were a lot of complaints to be found among them — topping the list, visual stylings of Tom Hooper, Oscar™ winner. This all goes deep (and deeper than we have time to discuss), but when you want to capture about ten things at once in a musical sequence — something which the film is in no short supply of, obviously — framing kind of matters, as some would say.

So pardon those people if concern arises when they read, in Deadline (preferably here), that Hooper‘s next project is looking to continue that singing trend. Swooping in to rescue a stalled project, he’s begun to eye the Freddie Mercury biopic which has always been a starring vehicle for his Les Misérables star, Sacha Baron Cohen; scripted by Peter Morgan and once intended for his Queen (har har) director, Stephen Frears, it’s finally, with him, getting the little resurgence studio favorites are known to provide. Much of it remains hazy in details, though the screenplay was once reported to be something of a snapshot, shining a light “on Queen’s formative years, leading up to the band’s heralded appearance at Live Aid in 1985.” When it comes to Hooper composing that legendary concert?

Well, don’t get too scared at the prospect: a number of other options are available right now, offers aren’t being laid out here, etc. But, sue me, there’s a smidge of personal curiosity about the ways in which Hooper would tell this story behind the camera — if he conforms to what this requires or keeps his own method. (Having enjoyed The King’s Speech just fine and never seeing Les Misérables puts me at an unfair advantage, I know.) Sony will distribute, no matter who directs, while GK Films will produce with Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Queen Films.

Thoughts on Hooper taking this project? Is it a suitable fit?

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