Kristen Wiig and Anna Faris are among the front runners for Sacha Baron Cohen's new comedy The Dictator. The film will be directed by Larry Charles (Borat, Bruno) based on the script by Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel. They wrote the comedy EuroTrip, and they have all worked on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm with Charles.
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. The film includes the parallel stories of a goat herder and deposed foreign dictator who gets lost in this country. Cohen will play both characters. The movie is being done in a similar manner as Borat, with a cast that has strong improvisation skills.
According to THR, Jason Mantzoukas is in negotiations to play Cohen's sidekick, a fellow from the Middle East. Mantzoukas is best known for starring in The League and his appearances on Parks and Recreation and Traffic Light. The League is semi-scripted so he will have no problems with improv. Kristen Wiig, Anna Faris, and Gillian Jacobs (Community) are currently front runners for the female lead. Each has read with producers – Cohen along with Scott Rudin, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel, but the part may go to someone else.
Filming begins this May on location in New York and Morocco. The Dictator will be released on May 11th, 2012.
I would love to see Faris or Wiig get the lead and think Mantzoukas would be great. This sounds like a fun film, but anything has to be better than Cohen's last film. What are your thoughts on this news?