That much-hyped Freddie Mercury biopic may be over before it's even begun. Now that actor Sacha Baron Cohen has bailed on the project, the film's screenwriter hears its death knell.

The 'Borat' star had been attached to the movie almost since its inception, and production was set to begin later this year with Robert De Niro serving as a producer. But back in July, Deadline reported Cohen had quit the project because he's "just not seeing eye to eye with the remaining members of Queen who have script and director approval."

Apparently, the band "wanted to make more of a PG movie" while Cohen wanted more of a "gritty R-rated tell-all." They also weren't on board with Cohen's pick for director -- Tom Hooper, who worked with the actor on 'Les Miserables.' Regardless of Cohen's reasons for leaving, screenwriter Peter Morgan told the BBC he thinks the project is "probably not going to happen" now.

That said, other sources report the project is "still very much alive" -- assuming, of course, another actor who can properly channel Mercury can be found.

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