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.