Even after the disappointing box office of Sacha Baron Cohen's "Bruno" last summer -- $138 million worldwide with a good chunk going to Cohen - Hollywood was still whipped into a frenzy this week when the mercurial comedy star pitched his latest project to every studio in town.
The untitled comedy would find Cohen playing two new characters: a goat herder and an exiled foreign dictator. Both men get "lost" in the United States, but it's unclear whether its a buddy comedy or they have separate storylines. Cohen is developing the project with three "Curb Your Enthusiasm" screenwriters* and according to Deadline.com the project is more in the spirit of "Coming to America" meets "Trading Places" than his previous pseudo-documentary work.
According to Deadline, Paramount beat Sony Pictures for rights to the project -- with Cohen getting a huge $20 million guaranteed payday -- but the project won't officially be greenlit until Cohen approves the script. Paramount wanted the project so badly they sent a real life goat to the offices of Cohen's agency, William Morris Endeavor, to try and seal the deal. It appears to have worked.
*Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel. Berg, Schaffer, and Mandel were Seinfeld writer/producers who are now executive producers of Curb Your Enthusiasm and get a ton of money for movie jobs (Eurotrip, Cat in the Hat).