Ben Kingsley cast in Sacha Baron Cohen’s Saddam Hussein novel adaptation

'The Dictator' is scheduled for release next year

Ben Kingsley has been cast in The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s adaptation of a novel by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Kingsley has signed up to play one of two Middle Eastern characters in the Paramount comedy, reports Variety.com.

Baron Cohen is co-writing, producing and starring in the film, which will see him play the roles of both a goat herder and a deposed foreign ruler who visits America.

The film is an adaptation of Zabibah and The King, which Hussein published under the pseudonym ‘The Author’ in 2000.

Jason Mantzoukas is reportedly in talks to play another Middle Eastern character alongside Kingsley, with Anna Faris, Kristen Wiig and Gillian Jacobs mooted for the female lead role.

Kingsley has recently starred in films such as Shutter Island and Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time.

Larry Charles, writer of Seinfeld, will direct ‘The Dictator’, which is slated for release in May 2012.