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Anna Faris takes the iron hand of Sacha Baron Cohen's Dictator
Posted by Den Shewman on Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Former House Bunny offered role in the Borat star’s latest project, about a ruthless dictator who comes to the US, gets deposed and falls in love.
Sacha Baron Cohen has been a journalist, a fashion designer and whatever it was that Ali G was. Now, he’ll be playing a deposed dictator as well as said dictator’s lookalike. The lookalike might get the throne, but the dictator just might get Anna Faris.
Deadline scored an exclusive Monday with the news that Faris has been offered the role of an organic food store owner in The Dictator and now it's just about hashing out the contracts. When Baron Cohen’s dictator arrives at the United Nations, he discovers his scheming lieutenant has replaced him with a lookalike. The dictator (whom Paramount describes as someone “who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed”) is set adrift in New York City. That’s where he runs into Faris’ character, who straightens out his head and might just capture his heart. Ben Kingsley signed on to the film on Friday; he'll play a Middle Easterner who runs into the deposed leader.
Larry Charles, who directed Baron Cohen in Borat and Bruno, will again direct. The script, which had every studio in town bidding last April (Paramount won when they sent Baron Cohen and his agents goats in Paramount t-shirts), is by former Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm scribes Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel (they of Eurotrip fame). Per Paramount, the film is inspired by Saddam Hussein’s novel, Zabibah and the King (and no, we're not kidding, they really claim that). Scott Rudin, Baron Cohen and the writers produce. Shooting starts in New York and Morrocco in late May, and release is set for May 11, 2012.
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