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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Sacha Baron Cohen is Mandrake the Magician

Borat and Bruno comedy superstar Sacha Baron Cohen is going to be a superhero. Well, sort of. Cohen is set to be playing the title character in "Mandrake the Magician". [hit the jump to continue]

The movie is being directed by Etan Cohen, whose past writing credits include "Idiocracy", "Tropic Thunder", "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa", and "Men In Black 3", which seems promising only when you take into consideration the first 2 movies mentioned, but never mind the other last 2 which were awful. He also recently landed the directing gig for the Warner Bros. remake of "Cannonball Run"

Mandrake the Magician is actually a syndicated newspaper comic strip, created by Lee Falk, who also created The Phantom (Remember him? He's the superhero immortalized by Billy Zane in the 1996 film of the same title).

The title character Mandrake is a magician whose work is based on an unusually fast hypnotic technique. As noted in captions, when Mandrake "gestures hypnotically", his subjects see illusions, and Mandrake has used this technique against a variety of villains including gangsters, mad scientists, extraterrestrials, and characters from other dimensions. At various times in the comic strip, Mandrake has also demonstrated other powers, including turning invisible, shapeshifting, levitation, and teleportation.  His hat, cloak and wand, passed down from his father Theron, possess great magical properties which in time Mandrake learns how to use. Although Mandrake publicly works as a stage magician, he spends much of his time fighting criminals and combatting supernatural entities. Mandrake lives in Xanadu, a high-tech mansion atop a mountain in New York State. Xanadu's features include closed circuit TV; a sectional road which divides in half; and vertical iron gates.

Mandrake was immortalized in radio plays, in movie serials in 1939, and other old films. To those who were more familiar with more obscure cartoons of the 1980s, he was immortalized in "Defenders of the Earth" as one of the members of a superhero team composed of Flash Gordon, the Phantom, and Lothar (Mandrake's sidekick). [
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