HOLLYWOOD, CA—Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad admitted Monday that the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict was merely a promotional gimmick for the 2008 Adam Sandler vehicle You Don't Mess With The Zohan that spun a little out of control. "They knew a comedy this big was going to need a big marketing hook, so back in '47, our guys called some people at the U.N., and next thing you know we had ourselves an ethnic conflict that turned into a nice little return at the box office," Belgrad told reporters, adding that the comedy about an Israeli Mossad agent who fakes his own death to become a hairdresser in New York cost $90 million and several thousand lives. "In retrospect, we should have maybe dialed back on the Six-Day War, but we needed somewhere to anchor that Fizzy Bubbeleh joke. You can't buy press like that." Belgrad added that the film's highly anticipated sequel will involve Iran.
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