‘Borat’ star cuts chops on ‘Sweeney Todd’

Cohen signs on for role in Burton pic

Sacha Baron Cohen has firmed plans to follow “Borat” with some barbering in “Sweeney Todd,” the screen version of the Stephen Sondheim musical Tim Burton will shoot for DreamWorks and Warner Bros.

Cohen will play Signor Adolfo Pirelli, a barber who becomes the nemesis of Sweeney Todd. Todd’s the barber who teams with the murderess Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) to kill people, grind them up and use them in her meat pies.

Cohen will be putting in only a couple weeks of work.

Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing with Richard D. Zanuck and John Logan. Logan wrote the script.

Since “Sweeney Todd” shoots in London in February, the picture is the next up for Cohen. The musical offers him the opportunity to create another eclectic character, as he did when he played the race car driver Jean Girard in “Talladega Nights.”

As “Borat” continues to establish itself as a box office juggernaut, Cohen has just begun working out the story beats of “Bruno,” the feature he’ll make for Universal, playing the Austrian fashion reporter character he created for “Da Ali G Show.”

“Bruno” is on course to shoot next year. Also looming for Cohen are two longstanding acting attachments, in the Tina Fey-scripted “Curly Oxide and Vic Thrill” at Paramount, and the remake of the Francis Veber comedy “Dinner for Schmucks” at DreamWorks.

Cohen’s repped by Endeavor and managed by Jimmy Miller.

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