HBO to Air Saddam Hussein Biopic in December

HBO will air the four-hour House of Saddam this December, the network confirmed.

A co-production with the British Broadcasting Corp., the film tracks the 1979 coup and Saddam Hussein's bloody rise as a revered and feared dictator through Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the Gulf War, the skirmish with United Nations' weapons inspectors and the current conflict in Iraq.

A scene dramatizing the Gulf War includes footage from British and American networks including archival footage from CNN of a much younger Wolf Blitzer. Time Warner, of course, is the parent company of CNN and HBO.

The film ends with Hussein's capture by coalition forces, who pulled the unkempt and wild-eyed Hussein out of a hole in the ground outside the shack where he was hiding in the countryside of Tikrit.

Directed by Jim O'Hanlon, the film stars an international cast led by Israeli actor Igal Naor in the title role and Shohreh Aghdashloo, the Iranian actress who played the mother of a would-be suicide bomber in the fifth season of 24, as Hussein's wife.

The film was mostly positively reviewed in the United Kingdom when it aired last summer.

HBO will premiere House of Saddam over two nights.