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Borat to Play Saddam Hussein

Sacha Baron Cohen to play the Iraqi tyrant
By: Omer Shachnai
Published: January 21st, 2011 in Culture » Film
Sacha Baron CohenPic: NULL

In 1940, Charlie Chaplin starred in the parody film The Big Dictator as Adolf Hitler. Now, some 71 years later, it's Sacha Baron Cohen’s turn to make fun of a tyrant- the Jewish comedian, best known for his role as Borat, will star in the new comedy The Dictator, playing as the lead role which is inspired by the late notorious former president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein.

The Dictator will hit the screens in May 2012. It's directed by Larry Charles, who previously worked with Baron Cohen on Borat and Bruno. The Dictator is based on a novel written by Saddam Hussein himself- Zabibah and the King.

The movie, which is a mockumentary remake of Saddam’s book, "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," Paramount Pictures said.

Zabibah and the King is a love story between a mighty king (later interpreted as Saddam) and a beautiful woman named Zabibah (which represent the Iraqi people), set in the ancient Iraqi city of Tikrit. It basically tells that Zabibah is miserable because of her marriage to a cruel husband (the United States) and the king, who falls in love with her, comes to rescue her. Very “Saddam-like” indeed.

It's unclear whether the movie will be set in the same years (600 AD) or if it will be more of a modern adaptation of the story. However, it's clear Charles and Baron Cohen will definitely not focus on nationalism, but on the funnier and more satiric parts of the story.

Baron Cohen became famous in the late 90s with his hilarious character of Ali G, but it was really Borat, the backward and crazy Kazakh journalist who “sealed the deal” for him. As a result of the movie’s success he rocketed to worldwide fame and later on moved to produce and star in Bruno in 2009.

Related articles: The Dictator, Saddam Hussein, Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat
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