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Sad-damn bad idea

Let's play a game. Imagine you're Sacha Baron Cohen. Your agent calls you. 'I've got a part for you,' he says. 'It's in an adaptation of a popular book from Iraq.'

'That's interesting,' you reply. 'Who's the book by?'

'Saddam Hussein,' your agent replies. At this point you spit out your cornflakes.

But it's happening. Cohen has been cast in The Dictator, supposedly an adaptation of Zabibah and The King, one of four novels Hussein anonymously published while in charge of Iraq. (Rumours that a post-reign novel, entitled Notes From An Underground Bunker, is awaiting release are as yet unconfirmed.)

If dictator-fantasy seems an odd next choice for the comic, though, worry not. We think there's more to this project than meets the eye. The Dictator 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,' which doesn't sound like the plot of Saddam's book. And it's directed by Larry Charles, writer of Seinfeld.

Our guess is that this is to be some deeply meta piece as much about the writing of the book as it is an adaptation of the book itself. It sounds rather odd, still, though, doesn't it? But it'll pass the time until Borat 2...

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