The comedian behind Ali G and Borat will star as the flamboyant musician in a film tracking the build up to band’s memorable performance at Live Aid in 1985.
The project has the backing of Mercury’s surviving band mates – guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor are both on board as musical consultants.
In an interview with the BBC, May disclosed that Baron Cohen had first expressed interest in the part two years ago.
He said: “We have Sacha Baron Cohen, which will probably be a shock to a lot of people, but he’s been talking with us for a long time.”
The role marks a break for Baron Cohen, who has built a career playing outrageously offensive characters of his own creation in spoof documentaries.