Report: JOHNNY DEPP Tipped For FREDDIE MERCURY Film Role

Louise Jury of the U.K.'s The Independent reports that "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Johnny Depp is being lined up to play a rock star for real in a biopic of the late QUEEN frontman Freddie Mercury.

Robert de Niro's company, Tribeca Productions, is said to be behind the project, which Brian May, the QUEEN guitarist, confirmed was in development. "Discussions are at an early stage," he said on his web site.

May described Depp as "fantastic." "He would be a worthy counterpart for Freddie on screen. I don't think I can say any more right now," he added.

De Niro has known Brian May and QUEEN's drummer, Roger Taylor, since they met at the Venice Film Festival in 1996 and ploughed his own money into their hit stage musical, "We Will Rock You". The musical was originally going to be about the band but the surviving members decided that would be too embarrassing for all involved.

The proposed biopic would tell the life story of Mercury, who was born in Zanzibar in 1946 and died from complications of AIDS in 1991, the day after confirming he had the disease.

His real name was Farrokh Bulsara but he adopted the name he was best known by at school in India, where he grew up. His family settled in England when he was in his teens. He performed with several bands before co-founding QUEEN in 1971.

Read more at The Independent.

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