Ben Kingsley On For The Dictator

Sacha Baron Cohen's new comedy

Looks like Ben Kingsley had fun sharing a set with Sacha Baron Cohen on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo Cabret – because he’s ready to work with the man again on his latest comedy, The Dictator.

Borat/Bruno director Larry Charles is setting up the scathing new chuckle fest, which sounds like it’ll be powered by the same type of liquid awkwardness that fuelled both of those earlier efforts.

Cohen is playing a former Middle East dictator now in America who is described as “a heroic type who risks his life to ensure that democracy never comes to the country he so lovingly oppressed.” It’s even more topical these days, given what has been happening across the region.

Kingsley is on to play another Middle Eastern character that interacts with our “hero” alongside Jason Mantzoukas, who won his role yesterday.

And Charles is busy narrowing down the field for the female lead, described as a woman who works in a supermarket – so far, Kristen Wiig, Anna Faris and Community’s Gillian Jacobs are all on the shortlist for a part that will test their improv skills.

The film kicks off shooting next month in New York and Morocco, with a release date set for May 11 next year and a storm of controversy set for the minute the first trailer hits. Or the first lawsuit. Or…