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    No Joke! Sacha Baron Cohen Adapting Saddam Hussein Romance Novel

    Sacha Baron Cohen, Saddam Hussein Charley Gallay/Getty Images for PCA; Erik de Castro-Pool/Getty Images

    We know him as Borat, Ali G and Bruno. And come May 2012, Sacha Baron Cohen will have a new alter-ego—Saddam Hussein?

    Well, kinda. Cohen is adapting a bestselling novel that the deceased Iraqi dictator wrote, for a movie announced today, appropriately called The Dictator.

    So is this some kind of joke or something? Here's the deal:

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    The film will be a loose adaptation of the novel Zabibah and the King, which was a bestseller in Iraq in 2000.

    The book's set during medieval times in the city of Tikrit, Hussein's hometown. It tells the story of a king who falls in love with a poor, married woman—Zabibah—and risks his life to ensure that democracy never comes to his country.

    Hilarious, right?

    Though the book was written under the pseudonym The Author, it is widely believed it was penned by ghostwriters carefully supervised by Hussein.

    Whether this will be a mockumentary or a serious look at Saddam is up in the air.

    But Cohen wouldn't be the first to poke fun at dictators (hello, Charlie Chaplin!).

    Still unsure whether Cohen will play a serious Saddam? Look who is putting this thing together:

    Dan Mazer, Ant Hines, Peter Baynham—several of the Borat team—are serving as exec producers. And Cohen's favorite director, Larry Charles (Borat, Bruno) is at the helm. Beg, Schaffer and Mandel (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) join in as screenwriters.

    If audiences like The Dictator, perhaps Hussein's three other novels will be put into production? The Fortified Castle, Men and the City, and Begone, Demons were also penned under The Author and assumed to be Hussein's handiwork. The guy could be the next Dan Brown or Stephenie Meyer!

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