He’s played a dimwitted journalist from Kazakhstan, a gay fashionista, a French race car driver, a French train station guard, a dictator and a seriously clueless hip hop loving surburban dude. And now, Sacha Baron Cohen is ready to take on one of the most classic of comic characters, the spy.
The actor and “Cedar Rapids” writer Phil Johnston have sold a spy spoof pitch to Paramount, which isn’t yet confirmed to star Baron Cohen, but considering he’s featured in everything he’s written, it’s probably just a matter of time before it’s all formal. Anyway, the premise centers around a Bond-like spy who is forced to go on the run with his dim soccer hooligan brother (the role SBC would likely take). It seems tailor made for Cohen’s loose approach which leaves lots of room open to improvise, and while that whole spy comedy is pretty much played out, if anyone can make it fresh again, it’s SBC. And if you’re wondering why any studio is looking at Cohen comedy after the perceived flop of “The Dictator” this summer? Well that movie earned $108 million overseas, double what it did domestic and a huge chunk of its $167 million total. Surprising stuff indeed.
But at any rate, this likely won’t be his next. Cohen has a number of projects in the works, but the one gaining the most momentum in recent months is the Freddie Mercury biopic that last we heard has Stephen Frears in the frontrunner slot to direct. But up immediately for SBC is “Les Miserables” which hits theaters on December 14th. [Variety]