Sacha Baron Cohen's New 'Goat' Project Lands at Paramount
This is definitely one of the oddest Hollywood stories I've heard recently. Apparently Paramount sent live goats to Sacha Baron Cohen and the offices of his talent agency yesterday in hopes of convincing them to let them pick up the new project that Cohen's shopping around. Deadline has a lowdown on the incident and some info on the project. Although they don't mention a title, it's a comedy where Cohen plays two different original characters we've never seen before: a goat herder and a deposed foreign dictator who gets lost in the United States. To add some more intrigue, it's "in the spirit of Coming To America meets Trading Places."
Word is that a lot of studios were in a bidding war and in the end, Cohen got a landmark deal at Paramount that most comedic actors haven't seen in years (something around $20 million). The studio is giving him a $65 million budget and immediate commitment, as this will be Cohen's next movie. He's also producing and writing the script with Curb Your Enthusiasm writers Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel. We don't know much more about the plot besides the two characters mentioned above, but the pitch "had everything" and studios really loved it. "This is the reason why people are paying so much attention to this pitch. It's a big straight ahead comedy and Sacha is starring in a really funny role," a studio insider told Deadline.
I'm very curious and I want to hear more about this, but if Cohen has come up with two new characters that are similar in vein to Borat (which it sounds like), then I'm all for it. I loved Borat (both the character and the movie) but I wasn't a big fan of Bruno, so I'm happy to see that he might return to that kind of territory again. In fact, I love almost anything Sacha Baron Cohen does, whether it's funky roles in other big movies or creations of his own. I'm glad to know that some execs in Hollywood still love him despite Bruno's poor performance last year. He's a comedic genius. We'll let you know when/if we hear anything more about this.