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Sacha Baron Cohen to make film of 'Saddam Hussein book'

image captionSacha Baron Cohen will co-write and produce the film under his Four By Two Films company

Borat and Bruno actor Sacha Baron Cohen is to star in a comedy inspired by a book thought to have been written by the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

The Dictator is a loose adaptation of the novel Zabibah and the King, which was a best-seller in Iraq in 2000.

Paramount Pictures said the film would 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".

It will be released on 11 May 2012.

Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel - writers on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm - have been recruited to pen the script.

The Dicator will be directed by Larry Charles, who worked with Baron Cohen on both the Bruno and Borat comedies.

Although Zabibah and the King was written under the pseudonym "The Author", it is believed it was written by ghost-writers carefully supervised by Hussein.

Set in the 7th or 8th Century, the romance novel tells the story of a king who falls in love with a poor, married woman.

Later this year, Mamma Mia! star Dominic Cooper will be seen in The Devil's Double playing Saddam Hussein's son Uday and a man forced to impersonate him.

Last year it was confirmed that Baron Cohen, 39, would play Queen front man Freddie Mercury in an upcoming film biopic.

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