“There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury. The guy was wild,” he said. “He was living an extreme lifestyle [of] debauchery. There are stories of little people with plates of cocaine on their heads walking around a party.
They are a band, they want to protect their legacy as a band, they want it to be about Queen. And I fully understand that. [After] my first meeting, I should never have carried on because a member of the band – I won’t say who – he said, ‘This is such a great movie because such an amazing thing happens in the middle of the movie.’
I go, ‘What happens in the middle of the movie?’ He goes, ‘Freddie dies.’ I go, ‘So you mean, it’s a bit like Pulp Fiction, the end is the middle, and the middle is the end? That’s interesting.’ He goes, ‘No no no.’
So I said, ‘Wait a minute, what happens in the second half of the movie?’ And he said, ‘Well, we see how the band carries on from strength to strength.’ And I said, ‘Listen, not one person is going to see a movie where the lead character dies from AIDS, and then you carry on to see [what happens to the band].”
Sacha Baron Cohen on The Howard Stern Show discussing why he left the untitled Freddie Mercury biopic project in 2013, before apparently returning in 2015, and then leaving again.