Sacha Baron Cohen’s THE DICTATOR Set for May 11, 2012

     January 20, 2011

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Last we heard, Sacha Baron Cohen was teaming up with Borat and Bruno director Larry Charles on a new film called The Dictator, and every studio in town was vying for the project. Well, Paramount ultimately snatched it up, and now has set a release date and an official logline for the film. The plot is as follows:

“The film 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.”

Baron Cohen’s films are nothing if not controversial, and this one seems to be no exception. He will purportedly be playing dual roles in the film: that of said dictator, and the other being a goat herder. Paramount executives apparently “love the script” and have budgeted the film at $58 million. No word on how this effects the reported filming of Baron Cohen’s Freddie Mercury biopic slated to begin shooting later this year. The Dictator will be released on May 11, 2012. “Very nice!” [Updated: We’ve been sent the press release and have updated the article with the full press release after the jump]

Here’s the full press release:

SACHA BARON COHEN’S NEXT COMEDY “THE DICTATOR” TO OPEN WORLDWIDE ON MAY 11, 2012

Larry Charles Comes Aboard To Direct, And Scott Rudin To Produce

HOLLYWOOD, CA (January 20, 2011) – Paramount Pictures announced today that Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy THE DICTATOR will be released worldwide on May 11, 2012. The studio also announced that Larry Charles (“Borat”, “Bruno”) has come aboard to direct.

The film 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.

Producing alongside Baron Cohen are Scott Rudin, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel. The project marks the first collaboration for Rudin (“The Social Network,” “True Grit”) and Baron Cohen, while Berg, Schaffer and Mandel (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) join him as screenwriters on the movie. The movie is the latest collaboration between Baron Cohen and Charles, who previously worked together on “Borat” as well as “Bruno”. Dan Mazer (“Borat” “Bruno”), Ant Hines (“Borat” “Bruno”) and Peter Baynham (“Borat”) will serve as executive producers, reuniting the rest of the Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe winning “Borat” team. Todd Schulman (“Borat” “Bruno”) is co-producing under Baron Cohen’s Four By Two  Films banner.

Larry Charles, Sacha Baron Cohen and David Mandel are repped by WME. Dan Mazer, Alec Berg and Jeff Schaffer are repped by UTA.

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