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Paramount wins rights to Sacha Baron Cohen's new comedy
Even after the disappointing box office of Sacha Baron Cohen's "Bruno" last summer -- $138 million worldwide with a good chunk going to Cohen - Hollywood was still whipped into a frenzy this week when the mercurial comedy star pitched his latest project to every studio in town.
The untitled comedy would find Cohen playing two new characters: a goat herder and an exiled foreign dictator. Both men get "lost" in the United States, but it's unclear whether its a buddy comedy or they have separate storylines. Cohen is developing the project with three "Curb Your Enthusiasm" screenwriters and according to Deadline.com the project is more in the spirit of "Coming to America" meets "Trading Places" than his previous pseudo-documentary work.
According to Deadline, Paramount beat Sony Pictures for rights to the project -- with Cohen getting a huge $20 million guaranteed payday -- but the project won't officially be greenlit until Cohen approves the script. Paramount wanted the project so badly they sent a real life goat to the offices of Cohen's agency, William Morris Endeavor, to try and seal the deal. It appears to have worked.