Forget The Night Manager‘s Tom Hiddleston and McMafia‘s James Norton: the latest actor to play a Bond-esque secret agent is Sacha Baron Cohen.
Wait, what? The Borat guy? Yup. Variety reports Sacha will play Eli Cohen, a real-life Israeli spy who operated in Syria in the early 1960s, in new Netflix drama The Spy.
The six-episode drama will show how Cohen (that’s Eli, not Sacha) managed to rise through the ranks of Syrian high society, and how his actions and the connections he made have had lasting consequences in the Middle East.
It’ll be Sacha’s first recurring TV role since he wrapped the U.S. version of Da Ali G Show all the way back in 2004. Since then he’s become well-known for his portrayals of mankini-wearing Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev and the tyrannical leader of the “Republic of Wadiya” in The Dictator.
It’s also be Sacha’s first truly serious role, though his recent appearances in Les Misérables, Hugo and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street — not to mention his brief attachment to the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody — have all pointed in that direction.
The project will be written and directed by Gideon Raff, whose 2010 thriller Prisoners of War served as the inspiration for Homeland starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. A premiere date has yet to be announced, but it will be available worldwide on Netflix.
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