Full ‘Anchorman 2’ Trailer Voids Any Hope For Funny Sequel

In the pantheon of somewhat amusing things run into the ground by an appalling fan base, the first Anchorman film certainly has a place of pride. Its admittedly enjoyable premise—satirizing the sexual mores of the 1970s with three-degrees less subtlety than Mad Men employs when mocking the 1960s—became something for fratty, Family Guy-watching bros to quote without the slightest sense of irony. Anchorman 2 should almost definitely make things worse.

Even for a sequel, the set-up here is drab: instead of the 1970s, it’s the 1980s, because times change and also they ran out of 1970s jokes in the first movie. The original news team—Ron, Champ, Brian and Brick, and maybe the newswoman played by Christina Applegate, if they remember—set out to create a 24-hour news channel, so expect lots of potshots at CNN. Thankfully, the network fully deserves them.

The flip side to this plot is Will Ferrell’s terminally-oblivious Ron Burgundy is dating a black woman, which gives him the opportunity to spout racist commentary at dinner with her extended family. Humor! What remains to be seen is which of the seemingly hundreds of cameos will be worst: the cast, according to IMDb, includes Nicole Kidman, Liam Neeson, Kirsten Dunst, Sacha Baron Cohen, Harrison Ford, Kanye West, Greg Kinnear, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler, none of whom exactly need to lend their name to trash like this. Okay, maybe Kanye. 

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Sacha Baron Cohen On The Ryan Seacrest Urn Dumping

One could reasonably assume that Sacha Baron Cohen was tossed off the property, while dressed as General Aladeen from his movie The Dictator, after he dumped an urn filled with fake ashes all over Ryan Seacrest’s suit on the Academy Awards red carpet. But what happened next? His agents got a scary phone call from the Academy and they even tried to get Martin Scorsese to blackball him.

Cohen explained what happened to Deadline Hollywood in an interview this week:

The Academy did ban me from the awards and I was. In fact the head of the Academy called up my agents and said if I was to turn up within a half a mile of the Academy he would have me arrested by 200 FBI agents.

He also confirms that poor Ryan Seacrest (I can’t believe I just said that) was completely taken aback.

Well, I mean, Ryan Seacrest, was not in on it at all. He was told about an hour beforehand that he would get an interview with me, but he had no idea what was going to happen. He was very excited at the time.

But the most absurd part is when Sacha Baron Cohen revealed that some members of the Academy tried to get Martin Scorsese — his director in Hugo — to denounce him. Which is pretty ridiculous, considering Martin Scorcese is like, BRB, winning all the Oscars, and doesn’t give a shit. Cohen explained:

[I]n terms of ill will, I’m sure there are Academy members that would not want me back. But, no I haven’t received anything negative at this time. At the time they actually threatened Marty (Scorsese) and said that if he didn’t convince me to not turn up, that it would jeopardize the chances of Hugo winning; which is absurd. And by the way Marty responded, “Sacha does what he wants and if you think I can control him, you’re wrong.

Hugo ended up winning five Oscars later that evening … which Cohen presumably watched from at home on his couch.

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Sacha Baron Cohen Negotiates With Terrorists

Sacha Baron Cohen has settled a slander lawsuit with a Palestinian grocer who alleged that he was portrayed as a terrorist in the 2009 mockumentary Bruno.

Ayman Abu Aita was was interviewed by Cohen as his dippy Austrian fashion alter-ego Bruno, believing that it was part of a film about the Palestine peace process. The joke in Bruno was that two spoke about Aita’s Christian peace activism onscreen while a caption ran below stating Aita is part of the terrorist group the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade. Cohen also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman discussing a "terrorist" he had met, meaning Aita, which prompted Aita to include Letterman in his lawsuit as well. The poor guy says that after Bruno came out, he’s gotten death threats for supposedly being a terrorist and his business has suffered. He sued Cohen for $110 million, but this week has now settled for an undisclosed amount. 

Cohen, for his part, had argued that he was well within the bounds of free speech. And as we all know, free speech also allows you to act like a dick.

What To Watch At Cannes

Today the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival kicks off, meaning gorgeous people are spending time watching movies and frolicking on French beaches while you sit in the office and read about it. Glamorous, no?

Say what you will about the celebrity industrial complex, but at least the Cannes fest does feature some excellent films—and is always good for an unscripted moment—that will eventually make their way to a cineplex near you. But what to watch?

Cosmopolis: How could a Don DeLillo book turned into a David Cronenberg movie go wrong? Starring an increasingly serious Robert Pattinson as a Wall Streeter whose world collapses on a drive across Manhattan, the movie is giving us shades of American Psycho but with something like the Batmobile. Sold!

On The Road: The Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles takes on Jack Kerouac’s legendary book with the help of, uh, Kristen Stewart. Sure it’ll probably glamorize the Beats and have some sort of moral, but all of this naked driving looks worth the price of admission.

Rise of the Guardians: One of the festival’s opening pictures, Dreamworks’ Guardians is about an Avengers-like team of Santa, The Tooth Fairy, The Sandman and The Easter Bunny who team up to save the planet from evil. The movie will be released stateside around the holidays and is sure to grace every plastic soft drink cup you purchase toward the end of 2012.

Rust and Bone: From the director of 2009’s big-deal film A Prophet, this French flick delves into the bond between a homeless man and a whale trainer played by Marion Cotillard.

Lawless: Guy Pearce, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Shia LaBeouf star in this Prohibition-era tale about schemers, bootleggers and lawmen during the Great Depression.

The Dictator: There’s also Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest, The Dictator, for which he reportedly paraded a camel down one of Cannes main streets as a publicity stunt. It might not be brilliant, or even close to as funny as some of his older work, but there will be a laugh or two. And you might as well embrace it, avoiding this will be difficult.

Check Out the Strikingly Minimal Poster for Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’

There is a chain in the official poster for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, his first new movie since 2009’s Inglourious Basterds. There may also be the guy named Django, the ex-slave on a revenge mission against his former master, though it isn’t quite clear from the silhouettes which one he’d be. The man on the right with the period appropriate hat? The dual pistol-wielding guy on the left? Many questions to be answered! 

Filled with can’t-miss actors like Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Kerry Washington and Sacha Baron Cohen, there probably won’t be a more anticipated Christmastime movie, unless another Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel gets made. Even though Joseph Gordon-Levitt recently dropped out of filming, it seems like everything else is going fine. For better or worse, this looks to be another inescapable Tarantino blood fest, so you’d better steel yourself for the eventual effusive outpouring of public adoration. There’s only eight months and a half months left before Django drops on Christmas morning. 

Morning Links: Sacha Baron Cohen Still Welcome At Oscars, Jessica Simpson Preps For Baby Girl

● The Academy has spoken, sort of: Sacha Baron Cohen will not be banned from Sunday night’s ceremony, but his Dictator character will not be welcomed. "We don’t think it’s appropriate," said their spokesperson, who reassures that his tickets "haven’t been pulled." Not yet, at least. [THR]

● Could Britney Spears be cast to The X Factor‘s judges panel? We could certainly be counted on to watch at least one episode, if so. [People]

● Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg, and a few of their friends generously scrounged up enough change to help the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures buy the iconic ruby slippers from 1939’s Wizard of Oz. [Us]

● A very pregnant Jessica Simpson was seen buying up all the pink baby clothes at a baby boutique in L.A. — there must be little girl on the way! [People]

● According to The-Dream, it was Rihanna’s idea to offer Chris Brown a verse on the remix of "Birthday Cake," a song he originally wrote. "When she raised the question to me, I know she’s not crazy," he explained to MTV. "It’s easy to kinda throw Chris under the bus all the time, but c’mon, man. OK, we get it" [RapFix]

● Elton John’s husband, David Furnish, confirms that Sir Elton has spoken with Justin Timberlake about starring in his bioepic. [E!]

Martin Scorsese & Jared Leto Team Up for ‘Hugo’ Trailer

We doubt that when Jared Leto sat down to pen his 30 Seconds to Mars anthem “Kings and Queens,” he anticipated it would one day score the trailer to a Martin Scorsese kids movie (or get 6 million views on YouTube, for that matter). But stranger things have happened. So when we pressed play on the trailer for Hugo, that Martin Scorsese kids movie we were talking about, and “Kings and Queens” started playing as Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterfield run through a turn-of-the-century Parisian train station, we thought, right on.

As for the rest of the trailer: It will leave Scorsese purists scratching their heads (pratfalls into a giant wedding cake?). But it does have Sacha Baron Cohen providing some underlying menace, and it does have Ben Kingsley Georges Méliès, giving Scorsese the chance to play around with the early days of cinema. Our sense is that most of the story hasn’t been revealed yet (although it is based on a book) and that the 3D trailer was composed mainly with Harry Potter audiences and their 3D glasses in mind.

See Sacha Baron Cohen as ‘The Dictator’

We’re not sure what’s going on in this first official photo from Sacha Baron Cohen’s now-filming movie, The Dictator, but it’s giving us the willies. Some background info: Baron Cohen stars as a Saddam-ish, iron-fisted ruler who relocates to New York City after being replaced by a goat herder (also played by Baron Cohen) back home. Then he falls in love with an organic food chick played by Anna Faris and blah blah happily ever after blah blah. But if anyone is going to fall in love with this guy, he’ll have to do something about that palindromic hair and those Ibiza-turd glasses.

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Sacha Baron Cohen’s New Movie Is Based on a Novel by Saddam Hussein

After wrapping Bruno and shuttering the Ali G empire, it’s been a long couple of years of waiting to see what Sacha Baron Cohen would do next. Would he go all Dave Chapelle on us, disappearing into pile of his own millions, smoking weed and shirking the spotlight? Or would he pull a Jerry Seinfeld, marry a Barbie doll, buy a bunch of Porsches, and not do anything funny ever again? Or maybe he would do a Ricky Gervais — give up the hard-won integrity of his previous projects to play the lead in rom-coms and insult people (brilliantly) at awards shows? But that would be to underestimate Cohen, who’s gone and made a film “inspired by the best selling novel, Zabibah and The King, by Saddam Hussein.”

Strangely, this novel actually exists, though it’s unclear whether it was really written by Hussein. The film is called The Dictator, and “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.” Cohen will be paid $20 million for the movie, which Paramount will release on May 11. The resemblance, it must be said, is uncanny.