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Just days after making headlines by appearing at the Oscars red carpet in full The Dictator costume, Sacha Baron Cohen signed a first-look deal with Paramount Pictures. The deal gives the studio the right to look at any of Cohen’s future projects. Under the pact, Cohen would not be able to go to another studio unless Paramount passes on an idea first.
Deadline reports that the deal was made Wednesday with Cohen and his production company, Four By Two Films, reaching the agreement with Paramount, which is releasing The Dictator in May. Four By Two Pictures will be headed by producer Sir Todd Schulman, who worked on The Dictator and Cohen’s 2009 film, Bruno.
According to The Wrap, the deal also includes the creation of a development fund that will allow the British-born actor to create projects in the UK.
The deal will last three years, making Cohen’s first film after The Dictator the first as part of the deal, notes The Hollywood Reporter.
In a statement, Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, was excited by the deal, calling Cohen a “genius.” Grey added that, “A wildly talented writer, actor and filmmaker. Beyond that, he is the rare global comedy star. On behalf of all of us at Paramount, we welcome Sacha and look forward to The Dictator and many more great pictures for years to come.”
Cohen has had a string of success since gaining fame on his Da Ali G Show, which was shown on HBO in the US. He was nominated for an Oscar for his script for Borat, which made $262 million worldwide. Bruno was not as well recevied, but still made $139 million, notes the Hollywood Reporter.
Cohen starred in Hugo last year and, aside from The Dictator, will also appear in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.