The film is being directed by Larry Charles, who’s been working with Baron Cohen for the past few years, and also helmed 2006’s Borat and 2009’s Brüno with Baron Cohen of course playing the titular roles in both.
Fox and Reilly’s roles are being kept under wraps for the time being, but no doubt they’ll both be brilliant additions to what sounds like another hilarious and controversial Baron Cohen film. Following the success of his past two films, the actor decided to retire the characters because of their increased recognisability, and he’s now moved onto this project, which will tell,
“the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.”
You can already feel the controversy. Add to that the fact that it’s a loose adaptation of the novel, Zabibah and the King, widely believed to have been written by Saddam Hussein, and it’s pretty much a sure thing that the film is going to be simultaneously criticised and hailed among critics and fans.
Reilly needs no introduction as an actor who can play both very serious and very funny roles, starring as Officer Jim Kurring in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia back in 1999, and starring opposite Will Ferrell in Step Brothers three years ago. He’ll also be playing the role of the father, Franklin, in the upcoming adaptation of bestselling novel, We Need To Talk About Kevin, due out on 21st October this year, and which is already being tipped as a contender for next year’s Academy Awards.
After leaving the role of Mikaela in the Transformers franchise, the projects Fox has most recently joined are both comedies, Friends With Kids and Judd Apatow’s next feature, This Is Forty. Both films are due out next year, along with The Dictator, so 2012 is set to be a year we see something a little different from Fox, being cast in funnier roles.
The Dictator has been scripted by Baron Cohen and former Seinfeld writers Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer, all of whom have been writing for the brilliant Curb Your Enthusiasm since then, and Schaffer was also part of the writing team for Brüno two years ago. With such excellent writers, a brilliant director, and an ingenious lead actor with excellent supports, and now great cameo roles confirmed, its release next year on 11th May is shaping up to be something to look forward to.