Borat to Play Abbie Hoffman

The creator of Ali G and Borat has been persuaded by Steven Spielberg to move from comedy to serious politics by playing a famous opponent of the Vietnam war.

In “The Trial of the Chicago Seven,” Sacha Baron Cohen will portray Abbie Hoffman, a figure from the 1960s counterculture who used a series of pranks to campaign against the war.

Baron Cohen, 36, became famous in Britain for his Ali G persona in the 1990s but won international acclaim with last year’s film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. He has now “retired” his Borat character. Cohen currently can be seen as Pirelli in the “Sweeney Todd” movie.

“The Trial of the Chicago Seven” follows protesters who disrupted the 1968 Democrat party convention with an anti-Vietnam-war “carnival” that turned nasty. Demonstrators threw bricks, police responded with tear gas, and the center of Chicago was engulfed in flames.

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