Following the release of the original Borat movie in 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen declared that he was retiring the eponymous character. However, following a few brief reprisals years later, the Kazakh journalist has made a full comeback with Borat 2, a.k.a. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. This time around though, Borat Sagdiyev’s shenanigans are on Amazon Prime Video rather than in theaters, and the streaming service had fork over quite a bit of money for the sequel.
Originally the plan was for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm to be released in theaters by Universal Pictures. Sacha Baron Cohen wanted to movie to be released weeks before the U.S. elections, but because the pandemic has throttled the theatrical business, as well as Universal still clashing theater chains at the time over its Trolls World Tour PVOD deal, that wasn’t an option, so the studio allowed Cohen to shop it around to streaming services.
From there, Deadline reports that Amazon shelled out $80 million for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, plus however much was spent on prints and advertising. The outlet also mentioned that Cohen brought Borat Subsequent Moviefilm to streaming services as he was still shooting the movie, which resulted in the deal with Amazon taking a while to hash out.
Fortunately for Amazon, those millions of dollars look to have been a wise investment. Not only has Borat Subsequent Moviefilm received a lot of positive reviews and generated a lot of talk (from that Rudy Giuliani scene to babysitter Jeanise Jones receiving some much needed financial support following the movie’s release), the company claims that tens of millions of viewers watched the sequel during its first weekend of availability on Prime Video. Universal’s deal with Amazon also allowed the former studio to be repaid for its outlay, and for Sacha Baron Cohen be compensated similarly to how he would have been if Borat 2 had been given a traditional theatrical run.
While Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’s existence wasn’t officially confirmed until last month, Sacha Baron Cohen began filming the movie in November 2019, although various amateur footage was taken of the actor performing some public stunts during that time. There were times when Cohen was legitimately afraid for his life during the making of the sequel, and while appearing in disguise at a guns rights rally in Washington, he wore a bulletproof best and was almost forcefully dragged out of a car when he and his crew were making their escape.
Sacha Baron Cohen is joined in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm by Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat’s daughter, Tutar. Bakalova has earned critical acclaim for her performance, so who knows, maybe there’s a chance we could see her play Tutar again down the line, whether’s it’s in Borat 3 or an entirely separate project.
Be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and don’t forget to look through our 2021 release schedule to learn what movies are playing on the big screen next year.