Funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen may soon be adding Austria to the list of countries he has upset with his comic creations.
Having won few friends in Kazakhstan for his portrayal of the country as backwards, he is set to cause upset to the Austrian nation with a film based on his gay fashion reporter character Bruno.
As Bruno, Baron Cohen has referenced the Holocaust in his sketches. In New York, he challenged fashion designer Leon Hall to a game called “Inn Oder Aus”, in which he asked whether certain celebrities should be “kept in the ghetto” and who should be sent on a “train to Auschwitz”.
He also asked Hall whether he would give kosher comic Jack Black “candy” or “cancer”. Hall replied that Burt Reynolds should be sent to Auschwitz and he would give Black cancer as he “didn’t want to feed him”.
View Bruno interviewing Leon Hall below:
An insider at the Austrian Embassy in London said: “We have never previously commented on the character as we know it is a work of fiction. There is no point speculating on what we will say until we get an opportunity to see the film, and as it has not yet been made, there is nothing to say.
“Austria is a tolerant and democratic country and we welcome Mr Baron Cohen to see for himself what the country is like.”
Details are still sketchy as to what the Bruno film will be about, but it’s likely it will explore the world of fashion as well as homosexuality. Universal Pictures has reportedly paid $40m to secure the rights to the film, which is set to be made next summer.
However, according to an insider, production dates may have to move back due to Baron Cohen’s other commitments, which include a lead role in the film adaptation of the musical Sweeney Todd.
The Bruno film is set to be produced by Semitic filmmaker Jay Roach, who worked with Baron Cohen on Borat, and who directed the Austin Powers movies and Meet The Parents. Roach is the husband of Jewish rock chick Susanna “The Bangles” Hoffs.
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