Every once in a while we get an update on the planned biopic of late Queen frontman and consummate showman Freddie Mercury. For quite a while Borat star and Hugo supporting actor Sacha Baron Cohen has been set to play the mustachioed singer, but beyond that we’ve heard fairly little.

But founding and current Queen guitarist Brian May says the film is still moving forward. There’s been a delay, and so contrary to previous reports shooting is now planned for spring 2013 with a release to follow in 2014, but the thing is still happening. Read More »

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For his next act, Sacha Baron Cohen is likely to play a super rich homophobe. The comedic star of Borat, Bruno and The Dictator has just signed a deal with Paramount to develop The Lesbian, a comedic spin on the true story of Cecil Chao, a Hong Kong billionaire who publicly offered $65 million to any man who could woo and marry his gay daughter. It made international headlines and, obviously, is ripe for parody. Read more below. Read More »

Sacha Baron Cohen May Spoof Bond


Briefly: Sacha Baron Cohen‘s next project with Paramount may be a slightly more traditional type of comedy than his Da Ali G Show spin-off satires have been. The writer/actor just sold a pitch to the studio that “follows a James Bond-like spy forced to go on the run with his long-lost brother, a moronic soccer hooligan.” Sounds like a reasonable plan, and the hooligan brother could be a way to get some of Cohen’s signature comedy style into a film that relies more heavily on scripted setpieces than we’re used to seeing from him.

Cohen will script with Phil Johnston, with whom he delivered the pitch to Paramount. Johnston scripted last year’s comedy Cedar Rapids, as well as the upcoming Wreck-It Ralph, and Alexander Payne’s next film, Nebraska. [Variety]

A sense of humor is like a fingerprint; no two are alike. What one person finds hilarious another doesn’t, and everyone has their own catalog of things that make them falls into hysterics. Sacha Baron Cohen‘s latest vehicle, The Dictator, tries to cover every single kind of humor imaginable. Do you like super offensive, evil humor? It’s got that. Potty humor? That’s there too. Social satire? Sure, why not. This wild unevenness is the film’s distinguishing factor and it leads to moments of genius, outbursts of offensive hilarity, and others of awkward, silent stupidity.

Structured around a boring, run-of-the-mill mistaken identity narrative, the main thing that keeps The Dictator from dying is an incredible level of unpredictability. At any moment, seemingly anything can happen in the name of a joke. This begets huge hits and big misses. Once again directed by Borat and Bruno helmer Larry Charles, The Dictator entertains but is deeply flawed and anything but subtle. Read More »

Following last month’s news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had left Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, two more of his would-be co-stars confirmed their own departures earlier this week. Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen will no longer be appearing in the film, which is currently shooting for a December release. It’s disappointing for sure, but at least the remaining cast — which includes Jamie Foxx, Christopher Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio — still looks pretty damn great. More details after the jump.

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As Sacha Baron Cohen‘s new comedy The Dictator strolls towards theaters, I know some have been wondering if his plan to play late Queen singer Freddie Mercury remains intact. As it turns out, that plan has not changed, and now Stephen Frears (High Fidelity) is the frontrunner to direct the film that has the backing of remaining Queen members Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. Read More »

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If even Martin Scorsese can’t convince people to watch Sacha Baron Cohen‘s The Dictator, I don’t know what can. But Paramount, of course, continues to try their hardest. Their latest effort is a red-band trailer that offers several fresh jokes, including bits on childbirth and 9/11.

It also finally, helpfully, offers an explanation of exactly how Admiral General Aladeen (Cohen) goes from being the all-powerful ruler of the Republic of Wadiya to being a grubby-looking cashier at a grocery store. Watch the trailer after the jump — and as usual, be warned that red-band means NSFW, in this case mostly for language.

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Playing a role in Hugo has paid off in an unexpected way for Sacha Baron Cohen. The actor had a big role in Martin Scorsese‘s most recent film, playing the over-enthusiastic watchman who patrolled the Paris train station in which Hugo was hiding. And now Cohen has his own movie, The Dictator, opening next week. To promote the picture, Cohen enlisted his Hugo director to round out a skit on SNL. The results are… weird. Check out the Weekend Update interview segment below. Read More »

I can’t really think of anyone more perfect to poke fun at vile tyranny than Sacha Baron Cohen, the guy who brought us Borat, Ali G, and Bruno. While plenty of comedians play at edginess, Cohen’s material feels genuinely daring and fresh — not to mention very, very funny.

So I’m a bit sad to admit that none of the clips or trailers we’ve seen for The Dictator so far have done all that much for me. Still, I’ve got my fingers crossed that my first impressions will wind up being dead wrong, and this amusing clip of the opening sequence offers a glimmer of hope. Watch it after the jump.

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