The guitarist claims he told "untruths" about the film

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Brian May has criticised Sacha Baron Cohen over the Freddie Mercury biopic.

Cohen was in talks with May and Roger Taylor about playing Mercury in a biopic, but the talks broke down.

Cohen subsequently spoke to radio host Howard Stern about his experiences on the project, claiming he left because the surviving members of Queen wanted to spent a substantial amount of the film focusing on the band after Mercury’s death.

Cohen said: “A member of the band – I won’t say who – said: ‘You know, this is such a great movie because it’s got such an amazing thing that happens in the middle.’”

“And I go: ‘What happens in the middle of the movie?’ He goes: ‘You know, Freddie dies.’ … I go: ‘What happens in the second half of the movie?’ He goes: ‘We see how the band carries on from strength to strength.’

“I said: ‘Listen, not one person is going to see a movie where the lead character dies from Aids and then you see how the band carries on.’”

Brian May has responded to Cohen’s claims in an interview in the Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine.

“Sacha became an arse,” he said. “We had some nice times with Sacha kicking around ideas, but he went off and told untruths about what happened,” he said.

May says they now hope that Ben Whishaw – most recently seen in the BBC drama London Spy – will play Mercury.

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