After directing two critically-acclaimed hit films in the past two years, Tom Hooper's name has suddenly vaulted to the top of many projects' short lists. With a Best Director Oscar (The King's Speech) already on his mantle, Hooper has certainly earned the respect of his peers - but more importantly, he's earned the trust of the studios.
That trust will likely turn into more high-profile offers, which means a bigger paycheck; it also means Hooper can afford to be more choosy with his next project. And that next project may very well be a Freddie Mercury biopic that is being put together by Sony Pictures and GK Films.
Deadline is reporting that the untitled project and Hooper may be a match. The studio hasn't made a formal offer yet, but if Hooper likes what he sees from Peter Morgan's (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) script - which has been with Sony for some time - he may jump at the chance to tell the rock legend's life story.
Sacha Baron Cohen, who worked with Hooper on Les Miserables, has been set to star as the charismatic Queen frontman for a couple of years now. Moviegoers who only know Cohen from Borat may scoff at the casting, but he proved he has some pipes in Les Mis, and bears somewhat of a resemblance to Mercury, if he bulks up a bit.
Hooper seems like a near perfect fit as well. He's already directed a historical drama (that was part biopic) and a sprawling epic musical. The Mercury story would certainly include both of those elements.
Of course, fans of Mercury and of Queen will be extremely sensitive to who is cast and who is hired to direct, considering that Mercury was not only one of the greatest rock singers of all-time - a man who deserves a fitting tribute - but also an icon that tragically died well before his time, due to AIDS. However, if Cohen and Hooper join forces to tell Mercury's story, most fans will probably be happy with the result.
Will Hooper choose to direct the Freddie Mercury story? We're not sure if he's a Queen fan, but we do know that this project would be in the director's wheelhouse.
As always, we'll keep you up to speed on this Freddie Mercury Movie as it develops.