After teasing audiences with a cryptic video that featured footage of US President Donald Trump, Sacha Baron Cohen - the man behind Borat, Ali Gi, and Brüno - revealed that his mystery project is actually a brand new comedy series for Showtime. He is currently in talks to create an interview-style series in the vein of Da Ali G Show.
An English comedian and filmmaker, Baron Cohen began his career by donning the persona of fictional characters and interviewing unsuspecting people in documentary-esque sketches. He later went on to write, produce, and star in Da Ali G Show and Borat's Television Programme before adapting the latter into the feature-length mockumentary titled Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He's since worked with directors like Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Adam McKay (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), and Martin Scorsese (Hugo). Now, Baron Cohen is revisiting his mockumentary roots in a new Showtime series taking aim at Donald Trump.
According to Variety, Baron Cohen is currently in talks with Showtime to produce and distribute the new series. And though there is little in the way of details, Baron Cohen's cryptic video which he released via his personal Twitter account incorporated video footage of Trump verbally berating the actor, ending with a logo for Trump University, which no longer exists. As of now, there are reportedly two episodes that have already been filmed for the series, though Showtime has not confirmed this.
No stranger to controversy, Baron Cohen has been at the receiving end of harsh criticism over the years for his display of oftentimes over-the-top comedy. For example, he once convinced British politician Neil Hamilton to smoke what was reportedly marijuana on live television, spilled an urn of (fake) ashes on Ryan Seacrest during a red carpet interview at the 2012 Academy Awards, and even snuck onto the Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada fashion show runway in Milan while in character as Brüno Gehard.
While it's unclear what sort of character Baron Cohen will create for the show (he won't reprise any of his original characters), the series appears to have an education-based slant. Given that the footage of Trump refers to Baron Cohen going to back to school, and with the use of the Trump University logo, it's fair to assume that his character may well be a student - if not a student of the defunct Trump University.