“Any studio that puts out a movie where Leonardo DiCaprio snorts cocaine from a hooker’s anus is a place I’m happy to call home.”
Here it is in French: “N’importe quel studio ne met un film où Leonardo di Caprio renifle de la cocaïne de l’anus d’une prostituée est un endroit que je suis heureux d’appeler à la maison,” said Baron Cohen today while vacationing with his mistress in Villenueve, Southern France.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 11:24 am PST: Paramount Pictures has renewed its first look deal with Sacha Baron Cohen’s Four By Two Films, with a three year term and a commitment to make two pictures. At the same time, Sony Pictures has picked up worldwide rights to Grimsby, a comedy that was developed by Baron Cohen’s company at Paramount. Sony has committed to make the film and has set it for release on July 31, 2015. The studio has locked Clash Of The Titans helmer Louis Leterrier to direct the film, which will begin shooting this summer with Baron Cohen starring. Leterrier’s deal is being made right now.
Co-written by Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston and Peter Baynham, the comedy focuses on a British black-ops spy whose brother is an idiotic English football hooligan. Baron Cohen plays the latter. Baron Cohen and Baynham were Oscar-nominated for Borat and Baynham is a co-writer on the Steve Coogan-starrer Alan Partridge.
There was no reason given why the movie is switching studios–it’s usually budget or a creative disagreement–but it certainly doesn’t reflect badly on the project. Studios never let high profile pictures go in the past for fear of being tarred with the-one-that-got-away blame game that happened on films like Home Alone and Twilight Saga. Now it happens all the time, even with a star as viable as Baron Cohen, as evidenced by Universal picking up the Ice Cube-Kevin Hart hit buddy comedy Ride Along and the Tom Cruise-starrer Oblivion, after each was kicked to the curb by another studio. As for re-upping Baron Cohen’s production deal (which has several films percolating), Paramount chairman/CEO Brad Grey said, “There’s only one Sacha, and we love him.”
This will be Baron Cohen’s first movie starring role since Les Miserables. He played a cameo as a brawling BBC reporter in Anchorman 2.
On the Sony side, they were sparked to add Grimsby to the 2015 slate. “Sacha is a uniquely gifted performer with worldwide audience appeal and this concept suits his brilliant comic talents perfectly,” said Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad. “Grimsby is an exciting addition to our 2015 summer slate.”
Baron Cohen is repped by WME, Leterrier by CAA and Management 360.