Sacha Baron Cohen sets up a James Bond style comedy with Paramount
Sacha Baron Cohen is facing a real turning point in his career, and it will be interesting to see how things progress.
The joy of discovering his early work was due at least in part to the feeling that you were in on a secret. Watching Ali G or Borat or Bruno interact with real people was amazing because of how seriously people took these insane creations of his. Even when "Borat" arrived in theaters, there was still a sense that something deranged was happening, something that was amazing to witness.
The one problem with that kind of humor is that a performer can only keep up that kind of ruse as long as he's not famous. The moment people start to recognize you, it's impossible for you to interact with the real world, and Sacha Baron Cohen is arguably one of the most recognizable comic performers working today.
I thought "The Dictator" was very funny this summer, but for people who wanted more of the "Borat"/"Bruno" school of gotcha comedy, it seemed less exciting than his earlier work. I think Cohen's got chops as an actor that we've just barely seen demonstrated onscreen, and while he's done nice work in films like "Hugo" and "Sweeney Todd," it still feels like there's more to his talent.
I've heard a lot about the Freddie Mercury film he's been developing, and I wish someone would pull the trigger and make it already. It sounds awesome, and I'm guessing the performance would be something special. He immerses himself so totally in a character when he's working that I think a biopic, especially one of a personality as outsized as Mercury, would be an amazing fit for him.
In the meantime, though, it looks like Paramount has signed him to make his next movie for them, and it's going to be a spy comedy about a James Bond-like super agent who ends up on the run with his long lost soccer hooligan brother. Phil Johnston, who wrote "Cedar Rapids," "Wreck-It Ralph," and Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," which starts shooting soon.
I'm curious to see which spy movies they'll be making fun of in the film. After all, there are many different styles of spy film. James Bond is certainly a big touchstone these days, but the Bourne movies also seem to have helped redefine action movies and I'm guessing that'll be in the mix as well.
We'll see, and in the meantime, "The Dictator" is set to arrive on DVD and Blu-ray on August 21.
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
Let Streaming Genie help you.