'Borat' team to lawyer film
Fox Atomic has acquired “Accidentes,” a pitch that Sacha Baron Cohen will produce with an eye toward starring in it as an ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyer.The comedy will be written by Peter Baynham, who with Baron Cohen and others shared an Oscar nom for scripting the 20th Century Fox comedy “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” The common denominator is Debbie Liebling, who acquired “Borat” and supervised production before becoming Fox Atomic president. The protag will be a lawyer of Latin descent who transforms from contingency attorney to hero of the working class when he helps an immigrant win a judgment against his wealthy employer after a landscaping mishap. He also becomes the enemy of L.A.’s power elite. Baron Cohen just completed “Bruno,” the Media Rights Capital-financed comedy that will be distributed domestically by Universal Pictures. He also recently became attached to play Sherlock Holmes alongside Will Ferrell’s Watson in a Columbia comedy that is being scripted by Etan Cohen (one of the scribes of “Tropic Thunder”) and will be produced by Judd Apatow and Jimmy Miller. Baron Cohen also is attached to star in the DreamWorks comedy “Dinner for Schmucks.” He hasn’t set his next starring role. Aside from “Borat,” Baynham won a BAFTA Award for his work on the U.K. TV series “I’m Alan Partridge,” which starred Steve Coogan. He’s scripting “Arthur Christmas,” a comedy feature for Aardman Animations and Columbia Pictures. Baron Cohen’s repped by Endeavor and Jimmy Miller, Baynham’s repped by UTA.