First Official Look at Sacha Baron Cohen as THE DICTATOR [Updated]

     June 9, 2011


A couple days ago, we showed you an unofficial set photo from the set of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie, The Dictator.  The film has Cohen once again reteaming with director Larry Charles, but it’s Cohen’s first movie that isn’t based on one of his characters from The Ali G Show.  The comedy “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.”

The Huffington Post, when not dismantling great sites like Cinematical or asking writers to do free work on behalf of a multimillionaire who pretends she’s on the side of the middle- and working-class, gets the occasional entertainment exclusive.  This is one of those days.  Hit the jump to check out the first official look at Cohen as The Dictator.  The movie also stars Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, and Jason Mantzoukas.  The Dictator is set to open on May 11, 2012. [Update: We now have a hi-res version of the image]

Paramount has sent over a hi-res version of the image.  Check it out:


  • Ringbearer1420

    Rest assured, you help put Huff Po’s pathetic ‘entertainment’ section to shame.

  • Joel

    Bitter much?

  • Clarkish

    LOL at the Huffingtonpost part. That site used to be really good, and now its kind of a crap fest. But I still do visit it out of habbit.

    I am soooo digging the look of Sacha Baron Cohen. The look alone is hysterical.

  • Numero Uno

    Hey Matt

    Do all Collider writers get paid for everything they write?

    • Jake

      No, as a matter of fact, a lot of (if not most) of the writers on Collider do not get paid. At all.

      • RichardTheNerd

        So Jake, I’m curious, what do they do for day jobs?

      • Jake

        I don’t understand the question.

  • jymmymack

    No one needs political opinions on an entertainment website.

  • skroegerj

    Lol… can’t you keep politics out of a simple post about a movie Mr. Goldberg?

  • Numero Uno

    Matt’s just following the lead pioneered by outlets like Gawker, AICN, and countless others, where he “thinks” that people actually want to hear his unrelated opinions that have little to do with the stories he attaches them to. This isn’t necessarily bad, but he has a complete and total misunderstanding of what the role of a ‘journalist’ is supposed to be. Sadly, he’s not alone.

    When he inserts comments and personal opinions to make ‘his’ point, it’s easy to imagine he feels that he’s being heroic, that he’s somehow “speaking up for others” and expressing some heretical opinion that millions of others don’t feel. He probably thinks that he’s being brave and outlandish, partly because his influences are others that rely on ad hominem attacks and insults rather than pure reason.

    What’s really tragic is that he seems to be an intelligent, thoughtful writer overall, and one that could put his skills to better use than simply regurgitating such ‘outrageous’ opinions to attract sympathy. He might get laughs, and he might get hits, but these things mean very little if he’s actually trying to change hearts and minds. But that’s what passes for journalism these days… shallow, trite and cringe-inducing agenda politics masquerading as intellectual thought.

    Matt, you’re better than this. I bet you get traffic, but so do porn sites. Instead of giving readers what you think they want, why not use the opportunity you’ve been given to actually enlighten and induce real change by means other than pressure and oppression? This is a movie website, and injecting half-baked opinions might win you some favor, but it’ll detract everyone else. This is why AICN has effectively lost ALL credibility with people, outside its rapid forum trolls. Don’t be like that, because you’re better than that.

    • Hunter D.

      The “Just the facts” version of journalism is a fairly recent invention and does not represent the history of the form as a whole. What’s more, AICN didn’t invent the form Matt is fond of, that was more Hunter S. Thompson and his ilk. Also, The Medium is the Message. The expectations and formal constraints of blogging/internet journalism are significantly different than those of print journalism, just as print journalism is different from cable news networks and cable news networks and cable news networks are different from the old news filmstrips that would play before features.

      That said, you are not entirely incorrect.

  • Pingback: ‘The Dictator’, Sacha Baron Cohen se busca otro alias | TBDC - Tu Blog de Cine | Noticias y Criticas de Cine()

  • Numero Uno


    Good points, but I didn’t say the form was invented by AICN or Gawker, but they were pioneers, particularly in this digital age of online reporting and squawking. Incoherent ramblings from ‘respected’ writers like Hunter S. Thompson were given higher-than-deserved venues from very specific – and narrow – outlets like Rolling Stone Magazine and their ilk because they represented the very type of counter-culture mystique their editors’ academic bias and allowed them to rail against the white bread system they were rebelling from.

    But ‘reporting’ like this does little to convince or even inform people of the very article its nestled inside, and often has the opposite result. Just look at this talkback; are there any comments about the article itself? Almost every talkback on websites like AICN, especially ones by their resident nitpick Hercules, result in countless sycophants lining up to support their ‘party of choice’ as if their very lives depended on it. What sadness that people would allow themselves to be herded so easily.

    So again, to writers like Matt and the rest, it would be nice to see less agenda-based politics inserted in your movie news, and more actual movie news instead. If you have an opinion or want to have an actual discussion, then start that topic on its own. Inserting a completely irrelevant discussion topic into another may be a smart way to ‘trick’ readers, but its pretty pathetic on all accounts. You have a popular movie website, yes, but why not trying to make a popular political/opinion website if you feel that strongly about it?

    Do you value your readers’ so little that you can’t stop inflicting such topics on them? Websites like AICN, Gawker, Huffington Post, and so many others are run by intellectual cowards who hind behind their so-called “base” rather than confront and present real arguments on their own merits. Don’t let this website be one of them.

  • brosephqballs

    Collider: I hope you like Matt Goldberg’s opinions with your news

  • Jeff T.

    Damn, people really hate Matt Goldberg. Well, it’s his own fault.

    I really hate when he’s trashing in EVERY single article pretty much EVERY single mainstream Hollywood movie from the last 15 years. It seems the guy only cares about the moronic critics and what they have to say about a movie. He simply agrees with them like a sheep. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him defending a mainstream movie that was trashed by the critics. If it’s praised by the critics he’ll praise it too. If it’s hated by the critics, he’ll hate it even more!

    The guy is sooo disconnected from the general audience, it’s crazy! Stick to indie flicks and don’t bother with Hollywood, Matt. You’re just pissing people off. Oh, and your “humor” doesn’t really work.

    P.S. And Matt, most of the time you’re making the HUGE mistake of treating your own completely subjective opinions as facts. They’re not. Try to keep that in mind, mmmkay?

  • alu

    i hope that they didn’t spend too much making this.

  • Brian

    Cohen has been in two movies not featuring previously-played characters already: Talladega Nights and Sweeney Todd. What I’m wondering most of this will be documentary style or a straight-up narrative. Either way, I’m sure it will be pretty damn funny.

  • Matt Goldberg

    Okay, I don’t usually respond to comments because I have a rule that I don’t respond to people who don’t put their names to what they write. I’ve never gone by a pseudonym and you’re fulfilling a cliche by being an anonymous angry poster. You may disagree with what I say or how I say it, but at least I’m willing to put my name on it.

    Now the reason I’m responding is because many commenters don’t seem to understand how this site works, or at least how my writing works. So let me make it clear:

    Almost all of my articles contain opinion. It’s my contribution as a writer. If I simply take material from the trades or Deadline without comment or analysis, then that’s not writing. That’s copy-pasting and you may as well go directly to Variety, THR, or Deadline for an “unbiased” opinion. I find it especially important to comment on posters and trailers because we don’t do free advertising. No one gets a free pass and if you feel that you want to passively be advertised to, then I recommend, TrailerAddict, or IMP Awards. All of these sites are good resources and if you want advertising without comment, they have you covered.

    I have opinions on what I write. If you don’t like opinions with your news, then Collider isn’t the site for you. I started writing for this site in 2007 and our readership has grown tremendously over the past four years and I haven’t changed my attitude or my writing style in the slightest. So no, Numero Uno (tell Mr. and Mrs. Uno I said “Hi”), I’m not trying to get hits. We already get hits. We would get hits even if I passively provided the news or was positive about everything. We’re always on top of the latest news, Steve does great interviews and set visits, and we have a variety of strong content. I just honestly give my opinion. I don’t have a mind for duplicity or guile and there’s no calculation in my writing about how many people I’ll piss off.

    And to the folks like Jeff T. who have selective memories, I have no time for you. There have been movies where my peers enjoyed it and I didn’t (Fast Five) and movie I enjoyed where my peers panned it (Battle: LA), and these are just in the past several months. There are divisive movies, but I’m not going to pull an Armond White and automatically hate a popular movie just to be contrary. Again, my opinions are my opinions and there’s no calculation beyond on that.

    But the point is I can’t win with commenters. If I give an opinion that’s outside the mainstream, I’m being outrageous to drum up hits. If I agree with the majority, I’m a sheep. And I’m sure this comment will have folks telling me what I did wrong because ultimately these people don’t like what I do or who they think I am. And that’s fine. You’re a stranger to me and I care more about winning the respect of people I know and admire than random people on the Internet. And that’s why I’m not going to change how I write or adjust my opinions to appease a fickle and faceless ego-mass. If that bothers you and if what I write bothers you, then you’re probably not going to enjoy reading news on Collider. There’s still plenty of other content for you to enjoy on the site, but you may have to get your news elsewhere if I bother you that much because I’m not going anywhere.

    • Alex–

      I may not like Matt and disagree with him on mostly everything but I dislike high minded dumbass tightasses like Numero Uno even more.

      Noone goes on this site for intellectual thought, politics or journalism you idiot.

      We just want to read some movie news from human beings not a robot. Matt isn’t a robot and colors up the place a little. I’m fine with that.

    • Jymmy Scheibli aka jymmymack

      I agree that you have the right to voice your opinions any way you see fit. In fact I complimented you the other day for your op-ed about theater etiquette. However, bringing politics into a piece is just begging for a backlash from readers. We didn’t come to the site for off-the-cuff politics, but rather entertainment news and opinions. I may fervently disagree with your opinion regarding certain films, but at least it revolves around entertainment. However, you addressed those who complained about your views on entertainment, but not those who complained about bringing your political opinions into a piece. That’s hypocritical. You can’t make a comment like that then ignore those who voice their opinions back by claiming that you aren’t here to “win our respect.” I love collided, and even your skewed articles tickle me every now and then. But saying you could care less about us as readers is both arrogant and a lie. We fuel your hits which in turn leads to revenue. Grow up.

  • Hannah Torres

    Director Ewing Miles Brown says Sam Botta has lost 74 lbs (now 150 lbs.) for Movie Tech Studios pre-production of “Live Fearless” Sam Botta Hosts the upcoming reality TV show. :) in Pre-Production now with guests like Betty White, who says “Appreciate life while it’s happening!” Also “get over it” (referring to aging) and “I’m swimming as fast as I can” in reference to her work.

  • Pingback: THE DICTATOR: Sacha Baron Cohen’s first photo | Spotlight Report "The Best Entertainment Website in Oz" | Movies, Music and the best entertainment in Australia()

  • Elitist Prick

    Jeez, a bunch of sensitivos in the comments section.
    1. Matt does put his opinions in almost every story he posts, so this isn’t exactly a new thing, for him or the site.
    2. The ONE SENTENCE the article uses to criticize Huffington Post points out something that numerous journalists have done since HuffPo’s creation, so it’s not like Mr. Goldberg is some short-sighted, invective-spewing extremist.

  • Jason

    Alright kids. Calm down.
    Most people will come here to read the movie news and see the trailers first. And i’ll best that even though, you could find them somewhere else, without opinion, you still come here.
    There is nothing wrong with Matt posting opinion.
    I’m always split in whether I agree with him or not, but so what. Who gives a toss?
    Since when are we meant to always agree with an opinion maker/journo/blogger/writer etc?
    It’s not their job to write what we want. It’s their job to write what they want.

    Get over it.
    Good job Matt, regardless of what you spout. lol
    keep it up.

  • excpired

    Yeah, there is such a thing as reading between the lines.

    At the very least Matt makes it obvious when he is stating an opinion and not a fact, versus mainstream media like CNN, FOX or MSNBC who state things with the intention of deceiving viewers/readers into thinking something that is unfounded based on the facts.

  • Pingback: THE DICTATOR Set Photos Sacha Baron Cohen()

  • Pingback: Megan Fox and John C. Reilly Join THE DICTATOR()

  • teen porn dvd

    What i don’t understood is in fact how you are now not actually a lot more smartly-favored than you may be now. You’re so intelligent. You know thus considerably when it comes to this matter, produced me in my opinion consider it from so many numerous angles. Its like men and women are not involved unless it?s one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. At all times maintain it up!

  • Buy Carbon Credits

    Thank you for any other informative blog. Where else may I am getting that type of information written in such an ideal way? I have a mission that I’m just now operating on, and I have been at the glance out for such information.

  • Online Videothek

    Hey there, You have done an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  • office 2007

    It’s truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pingback: First official shot of Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator Free movie - HaLa MovieHaLa Movie()