Not counting his Ali G Show creations and the trio of feature efforts that followed, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s winning presence has been put to use in only two films thus far, first in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and not long after in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. That’s going to be changing in the next couple of years though, as he adds two more films to his roster — the appreciably shorter-titled Hugo Cabret (directed by Martin Scorsese) and The Dictator.
We’ve already gotten an early peek at Cohen in Hugo Cabret, along with his Academy Award-winning co-star Ben Kingsley, and now a new bit of casting for The Dictator informs us that the duo will be joining forces once again. Is this the result of Cohen and Kingsley sharing strong chemistry on-set? We can only hope. Learn more after the break. Read More »
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The latest casting for The Three Stooges puts the great Jane Lynch in the role of Mother Superior, the nun who runs the orphanage where the Stooges grow up. (Cher was once mentioned for the role.) That means she’ll be a big part of the first of the film’s three segments, which takes place with slightly younger Stooges; it’s conceivable that she’ll be in the other segments, too, likely with less screen time.
Jane Lynch will be the very experienced comic voice to complement Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Will Sasso as Curly, and Sean Hayes as Larry. The film begins shooting in Atlanta within the next couple weeks. No idea what to expect out of this Farrelly Brothers effort, but it is their long-standing passion project (as weird as that seems to some) and I keep hearing rumors of really extravagant slapstick setpieces. That’s enough to keep me interested, at least. [Deadline]
After the break, Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film, The Dictator (which seems to be a remake or riff on Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, more or less) is considering a few different strong female leads. Read More »
Sacha Baron Cohen will indeed reunite with his Borat and Bruno director Larry Charles for The Dictator, a new comedy in which the actor will play both a dictator and a goat herder. Paramount has set a release date: May 11, 2012, so this one is happening soon. And it will draw inspiration from one of the most revered sources of comedic influence: Saddam Hussein. Read More »
We’ve heard some back and forth about whether Sacha Baron Cohen might do another film with his Borat and Bruno director Larry Charles. (Who, it should be remembered, stepped in to direct Borat when Todd Phillips dropped out after shooting some of the movie.) We’d heard that Mr. Charles might not direct The Dictator, which Sacha Baron Cohen is prepping now. But a new report contradicts earlier info, and it looks like we might have a loose trilogy of films from the duo. Read More »
Deadline is reporting that Borat/Bruno helmer Larry Charles has signed on to direct the Jim Carrey comedy Pierre Pierre. This isn’t a huge surprise considering the project has always been described as being simular to Bruno/Borat. The story follows a “self-indulgent, lazy, French nihilist who is transporting a stolen Mona Lisa from Paris to London.” Through the journey, “he comes to love his home country again.” They are hoping to shoot the movie for just over $20 million.
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Tonight in TV news: In a bid to get more live viewers for Fringe, Fox is building up this week’s upcoming Observer-heavy with a large scale viral marketing campaign, dubbed internally as “Observer Week”. The bald-headed character was one of the most intriguing elements of Fringe’s first season, and was notable for appearing “Where’s Waldo” style in the background of many episodes. Fans ate it up, and Fox fed the fire by having the actor appear on the network in other capacities, like this NFL game.
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Available from November 17th in the US, but this Monday November the 9th here in the UK, are the DVD and Blu-ray special editions of Bruno. I absolutely loved the film, and still consider it amongst my few favourite films of the year. This is what I want from the crossover between documentary and fiction, not silly pranks like Paranormal Activity.
I’m just through with the Bruno Blu-ray disc and, frankly, have been floored by the special features it contains. As well as the expected alternative, deleted and extended scenes there’s a brilliant enhanced commentary with Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles that I found almost as entertaining as the movie proper. This is the real reason to buy the disc. Even Bruno naysayers might be interested in finding out who we see in the film was actually in on the act, and who was unsuspecting.
After the break, more on the disc’s features and some clips from the video commentary.
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In terms of pouring a glass of water into an active volcano (frequented by aliens?), a $10 million final domestic gross for Religulous will be seen as a success. As other blogs have reported, outrage over the documentary was nil, which is unsurprising yet absurd given that the film shows Bill Maher and Larry Charles declaring a majority of Americans and the world’s citizens to be delusional, ignorant, conspiratorial and complicit in allowing fantasy football-like teams to quicken and encourage the world’s end. These are thematic points that might lead the average jaded dude to shrug, “No shit,” “These two guys need to go buy a Porsche already,” and “Life of Brian was funnier.”
Reviewing the film for the Village Voice, J. Hoberman observed that, [Religulous is] ultimately a celebration of the old-time religion we call entertainment.” And one of my favorite scenes is when Maher interviews a young Christian guy at the Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando (shades of Universal Studios) who casually brings up parallels between his religion and Star Wars. With the acceleration of movie-based fandom, I entertained whether proteges of Maher and Charles will make a similar documentary many years from now decrying that Star Wars was only “a fiction,” George Lucas a charlatan. Essentially, Religulous aspires to mock and destroy various older fandoms, ones with $1000 collectibles, conventions, a ginormous hierarchy of fan-fic and the occasional passive-aggressive/murderous relationship with outsiders. In other words, it’s an angrier, far more dumbfounded and epic Trekkies, and Charles wants to turn it into an HBO series…
“My hope is that the movie is successful enough, and I’ve already talked to Lionsgate about this, but I would like to take the 400 hours [of Religulous footage] and cut it into half hours and like sell it to HBO or something,” Charles tells AICN’s Quint. So people can see a lot of the stuff that didn’t make it into the movie. …I would love to be involved with that. I mean I could work on this movie in one form or another for the rest of my life really, I’m happy.”
Given that Maher already has a show and longterm relationship at HBO, and Charles has a hand in both Curb Your Enthusiasm and “Kanye West’s CYB,” the possibility of a series (or a series of specials) based on their theatrical effort seems likely, no?
Discuss: Should Larry Charles and Bill Maher proceed with taking Religulous to TV? Would you watch it?
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