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Sacha Baron Cohen is getting serious for Netflix.
The Borat and Bruno actor has signed on to star in the streaming giant’s limited series The Spy.
The six-episode drama explores Eli Cohen’s (Baron Cohen) role as a spy for Israel in Syria in the early 1960s. Cohen is one of the most legendary spies in the world. He lived in Damascus undercover in the beginning of the ‘60s, spying for Israel. He managed to embed himself into Syrian high society and rise through the ranks of its politics. His actions, connections and immense sacrifice have had lasting consequences, shaping the Middle East of today.
The project will be written and directed by Gideon Raff, whose thriller Prisoners of War served as the genesis of Showtime’s Homeland. (Raff is credited as an executive producer on the Claire Danes drama.)
The Spy will debut globally on Netflix, with OCS distributing the drama in France. Canal Plus also executive produces the series, which hails from Legende Films, with Alain Goldman producing.
The Spy extends Baron Cohen’s relationship with Netflix, where he currently appears in Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity (which launched April 6). The series will be Baron Cohen’s largest TV commitment since Da Ali G Show aired more than a decade ago. His feature credits also include Les Miserables, Alice Through the Looking Glass and the Madagascar franchise. He is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. Baron Cohen’s interest in Syria has led him and his wife and fellow actor Isla Fisher to donate to a number of organizations, including $1 million to support Syrian refugees in 2015.
A premiere date for The Spy has yet to be determined.