Paramount Pictures announced today that Sacha Baron Cohen has chosen a role that will complete the triad that he started with Borat and Bruno. What persona has he chosen to embody following a challenged Kazahkstani and a flamboyantly gay Austrian?
You may be aware of a certain Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein. Among his less memorable accomplishments was the penning of a novel, entitled Zabibah and The King, in which the protagonist was an oppressive Iraqi ruler — basically a stand-in for Saddam, only set in the 12th century.
Sacha Baron Cohen is going to play that oppressive Iraqi ruler.
The team from Borat and Bruno is directing, writing, and producing with Baron Cohen, and the film — called The Dictator — will be out May 2012.
Highlight from the super-dry press release: “The film tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.”
And the rest of it is below.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Paramount Pictures announced today that Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy THE DICTATOR will be released worldwide on May 11, 2012. The studio also announced that Larry Charles (“Borat,” “Bruno”) has come aboard to direct.
The film tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. It is inspired by the best selling novel “Zabibah and The King” by Saddam Hussein.
Producing alongside Baron Cohen are Scott Rudin, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel. The project marks the first collaboration for Rudin (“The Social Network,” “True Grit”) and Baron Cohen, while Berg, Schaffer and Mandel (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) join him as screenwriters on the movie. The movie is the latest collaboration between Baron Cohen and Charles, who previously worked together on “Borat” as well as “Bruno.” Dan Mazer (“Borat,” “Bruno”), Ant Hines (“Borat,” “Bruno”) and Peter Baynham (“Borat”) will serve as executive producers, reuniting the rest of the Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe winning “Borat” team. Todd Schulman (“Borat,” “Bruno”) is co-producing under Baron Cohen’s Four By Two Films banner.