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Renowned Burmese comedian and vocal regime critic Zarganar is to be involved in discussions towards the making of a film about the life of Snr-Gen Than Shwe, Burma’s infamous former military dictator, according to an interview he held with Burmese newspaper the Tomorrow News Journal.
Oscar-winning Hollywood film director Steven Soderbergh has already been contacted to direct the movie, the report said.
Zarganar is quoted saying he wants to take the role of assistant-director. The former political prisoner is due to travel to the United States in April to discuss the plan with Soderbergh who has previously directed hits such as Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven, Erin Brockovich, and Sex, Lies and Videotape.
The Burmese satirist said it should not be difficult to find an actor to play Than Shwe “as many people in Burma, perhaps unfortunately, bare his likeness”.
Outspoken and controversial, Zarganar was arrested in June 2008 for speaking to foreign media about the situation of millions of people left homeless after Cyclone Nargis devastated the Irrawaddy Delta. In November that year he was sentenced to 59 years in prison, but was released on 11 October 2011 in a presidential amnesty.
* The original version of this story stated that the film would be based on a political biography written by journalist Benedict Rogers titled, Than Shwe: Unmasking Burma’s Tyrant. Mr Rogers has since informed DVB that he has no knowledge of such a plan and that he did not speak to Zarganar or anyone else about making such a film.