Given that pap-snapped set pics of Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator hit the web a few days ago, this isn’t exactly the very first look at the comedian’s latest cinematic character, but it’s Paramount’s response to that early leak – the first official shot of Cohen in costume, released to the Huffington Post. You can take a look below.
The Dictator follows a distinctly Saddam Hussein-alike ruler who ends up getting secretly replaced by a lookalike (a goat herder, also played by Cohen) and fleeing to New York. There, he meets a comely health food store manager (Anna Faris), who broadens his view of the world. How much, we’re not sure, especially as the film’s basic description still runs as “the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed."
Oh, and the film was apparently inspired by Hussein’s own book, the less-than-subtle Zabibah and the King, which tells of how a benevolent, powerful king falls for a beautiful girl who has been brutally treated by her abusive husband. The not-so-subtext? Saddam saw himself as the ruler, with Iraq as the girl and the US as the evil hubbie.
It certainly looks like Cohen’s going straight for wacky again, but we’ll see how well it works when the movie, directed by Borat/Bruno collaborator Larry charles, arrives on May 11 next year.