A long time ago I received an e-mail, authored in character, as someone I strongly believe was Sacha Baron Cohen. A software crash obliterated that message (and a wonderfully funny note it was), and I was never able to follow-up. In all the years I've been doing work like this, 'tis easily my most haunting an aggravating experience. I truly adore and respect Cohen's body of work on the whole, and feel we haven't even come close to seeing all he has to offer.
Which brings us to the following press release from Paramount, announcing that Baron Cohen and a substantial portion of his BORAT / BRUNO team will soon be returning for THE DICTATOR - which is targeting a May 11 release in 2012.
It's based on a book called ZABIBAH AND THE KING by Saddam Hussein (find it HERE).
The press release tells you more...
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Paramount Pictures announced today that Sacha Baron Cohen's newcomedy 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 Filmsbanner.
For whatever it's worth, THIS Wiki entry indicates that the CIA believes ZABIBAH AND THE KING "...was written by ghostwriters with the direct influence of Hussein." Whatever the case, having Hussein's name splashed across the movie's credits and marketing is sure to be delightfully inflammatory and provocative. Just as Sacha likes it.
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