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January 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM
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British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, creator of the satire "Borat," will turn heads again with his new project "The Dictator," inspired by a novel from late Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein, his studio said Friday.

The film, set for release in May 2012, "tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed," Paramount Pictures said.

The comedy is "inspired by the best selling novel 'Zabibah and the King,' written by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein," said the production studio.

According to online bookseller Amazon, "Zabibah and the King" tells the "allegorical love story between a mighty king (Saddam) and a simple, yet beautiful commoner named Zabibah (the Iraqi people).

"Zabibah is married to a cruel and unloving husband (the United States) who forces himself upon her against her will," according to the plot.

The book was set in mid to late 600 AD, and it was unclear if the Cohen movie would be set in the same time period.

Directing the big-screen adaptation will be Larry Charles, who was at the helm of Cohen's previous largely mockumentary-style ventures -- the award-winning "Borat" in 2006 and "Bruno" in 2009.

After breaking out of British TV in the late 1990s with his mock journalist character Ali G, Cohen rocketed to worldwide fame with his satirical "Borat," which told the tale of a bumbling, backward Kazakh journalist traveling across the United States.


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