Monday, October 30, 2006
First Borat, then Bruno.
From the daily news. Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen is at the centre of a major bidding war to secure exclusive rights to a new film based on his latest character.
Hollywood film company Universal is offering £22 million for the worldwide rights to the film Bruno, based on a flamboyant gay Austrian fashion reporter.
A counter-bid is understood to have come in from Twentieth Century Fox, which was behind the Borat movie.
Further bids are assured as the low-budget Borat attracts rave reviews. Baron Cohen - as actor, writer and producer - is guaranteed at least a 15 per cent share of the deal for Bruno and, if box-office takings are good, his take could spiral into tens of millions. He's already set for a bumper pay day from Borat.
News of the bidding war came just a day after red-faced bosses at Fox admitted they had slashed the number of cinemas at which Borat opens this weekend in the US.
It had been scheduled to open in 2,000 cinemas, but will now open in only 700, which is a silly think for Fox to do. The hype for this movie is massive.
Fox executives pulled the plug on the wide opening after the film tested poorly, leading them to expect scathing reviews.
To their surprise, and now embarrassment, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The film has also received massive coverage in the media.
Fox distribution official Bruce Snyder said studio bosses were now hoping to extend the film to as many cinemas as possible in the coming week.
The new film will feature the character Bruno, made popular from Da Ali G television show in 2000, as he travels around the US where he targets homophobic Americans by showing up at such events as gun shows, with the intention of provoking a reaction.
Like Borat, Bruno will entertain audiences with the same sartorial blunders and level of controversy.
A spokesman for gay rights campaign Stonewall predicts the film may spark off further debate and potential controversy.
"This character will definitely cause a debate especially among the gay community themselves about whether this character is helping to further their cause or make things worse.
"People do have different views, some may find it hilarious and some will take offence. This film is bound to impact the same way the gay character in Little Britain did.
"It seems to be that he is using gay and lesbians in the movie and that seems to be his style with his characters, like he did with Ali G and Borat".
The film Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan looks set to be a hit in both the UK and America despite controversy over his offensive portrayal of Kazakhstan.
Speaking at the Oxford University Union, Erlan Idrissov, UK Ambassador for Kazakhstan added to the debate about the film.
He said: "Sacha Baron Cohen has developed a grotesque character who mocks many people in this society and my own.
"What I saw of the film was not Kazakhstan. He used village people from a very remote part of Eastern Europe. I am also very sorry for the people who acted in Borat's film because he used them for his own self promotion.
"And also I felt sorry for the Americans he duped in his film,that was an utterly rude mocking of American society. I couldn't get rid of a small feeling of being insulted by the film."
Sacha Baron Cohen, a Bafta Award winner for Best Comedy Series in 2001, first hit the screens as Ali G in the channel four series of the Eleven O'clock Show.
Following the success in the UK, the show was then taken over by the US, where it aired on HBO.
Way to go Mr Cohen... Keep up the good work.
Posted by Rob Good at 8:19 AM