Kristen Wiig, Anna Faris, Gillian Jacobs Front-Runners for Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Dictator' (Exclusive)

5:24 PM PST 04/27/2011 by Borys Kit
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Kristen Wiig, left, and Anna Farris

"The League" actor Jason Mantzoukas is in negotiations to play Cohen's sidekick in the comedy.

The casting for Sacha Baron Cohen's latest comedy, The Dictator, is starting to come into focus.

Larry Charles, who directed Borat, is back in the helming saddle for the Paramount movie, which has been described as "the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed." Baron Cohen is said to play dual roles of a goat herder and a deposed foreign ruler who gets lost in the U.S.

The movie is being done in a similar manner as Borat in the sense that Baron Cohen and his team are looking for people with very strong improvisational skills.

Right now, Jason Mantzoukas is in negotiations to play Baron Cohen's sidekick, a fellow from the Middle East. Mantzoukas has been working mostly in TV, making appearances in Parks and Recreation and Traffic Light, as well doing a run on The League, FX's semi-scripted comedy.

Dictator is also in the midst of nabbing the female lead, with Kristen Wiig, Anna Faris, and Gillian Jacobs (Community) emerging as front-runners. Despite the readings, sources have cautioned that is the producers – Baron Cohen along with Scott Rudin, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel - are still looking and that the part may end up with someone else.

The movie is aiming to start this May in locations in New York and Morocco.

Mantzoukas is repped by CAA, Mosaic and attorney Jeff Endlich.

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