Blake Lively has moved into negotiations for the role of Mary Austin, former girlfriend to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who will be the subject of a 2014 biopic starring Sacha Baron Cohen, reported UK website The Sun on Sunday.
The project has been in different stages of development for a few years now, but, with Tom Hooper showing interest in directing, Peter Morgan attached for the screenplay, and now Blake Lively (possibly) portraying Austin, chances for a 2014 release have improved significantly.
Austin was introduced to Mercury through bandmate Brian May. Mercury was bi-sexual, and his affair with a male American executive from Elektra Records virtually led to the couple’s undoing, noted The Digital Spy.
The affair did not destroy Austin and Mercury’s friendship however. She remained friends with Mercury until 1991 when the singer died of AIDS.
Mercury had once said of Austin that it was “impossible” to replace her.
“The only friend I’ve got is Mary and I don’t want anybody else,” Mercury added. “To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that’s enough for me.”
As for the direction a Freddie Mercury biopic might take, screenwriter Morgan told Time Out that the film would be more about each part of the band and not focus on Mercury exclusively.
Morgan described the band as “sensitive” about the “rancour and disagreements” the film will show.
“In a way, the film, for me, reflects my own experience of filmmaking as a collaborative process. Just as a film is never the result of one person, so the band doesn’t like the idea of Queen being ‘A Band by Freddie Mercury’ — and they’re right. It won’t just be about Freddie Mercury,” Morgan said.
Morgan also noted that the film would not be a comedy in spite of funny man Sacha Baron Cohen aboard as Mercury.
“They’ve hired me, so they’re not expecting gags. This is a drama,” Morgan said.
With the recent (probable) discovery of Freddie Mercury’s long hidden final resting place and now some real movement on the biopic, it’s an exciting time for Queen fans.
Do you think Blake Lively will make a good Mary Austin, and are you excited about seeing how Freddie Mercury comes to life in the hands of Sacha Baron Cohen?
Here’s a “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” to tide you over until 2014.