‘Borat’: Why Sacha Baron Cohen Refuses to Make Another Sequel

Sacha Baron Cohen made two movies based around his character Borat, however, he has no plans of making another. Why? Cohen feels he needed to bring the character back into the limelight for one specific reason. 

Sacha Baron Cohen wearing a suit
Sacha Baron Cohen | Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

How the second ‘Borat’ movie performed compared to the first

Firstly, some background. The first film in the Borat series, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, was released in 2006. Box Office Mojo reports the film grossed over $262 million against a budget of $18 million. It managed to gross that much even though the film wasn’t based on a successful comic book character or bestselling novel. Years passed and many people are now — predictably — nostalgic for the media of the 2000s. In 2020, Cohen released a belated sequel, called Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. While the original film touched on politics, the sequel was much more political, with appearances from a handful of prominent politicians.

It’s impossible to compare the gross of the sequel to the original because the sequel was released exclusively to streaming. However, Variety reports the film was the second-most streamed movie of 2020, behind only the film version of Hamilton. The film was streamed more than other hyped releases. These releases include the remake of Disney’s Mulan, Beyonce’s musical Black Is King, and Phineas & Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe.

A trailer for Borat

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Why Sacha Baron Cohen left Brat behind for awhile

There is a reason why Cohen was hesitant to make another pseudo-documentary like Borat — his experience while making his move Bruno. “After Bruno, I was fairly traumatized,” he revealed to Variety. “For about six months afterwards whenever I heard a police siren, I would start to get tense, because I’d been chased by the police so much. I vowed never to make another undercover movie again.”

Why Sacha Baron Cohen revived his most famous character — and why he won’t do it again

So why did Cohen trot out Borat again after so many years of dormancy? “I brought Borat out because of [Donald] Trump,” Baron Cohen said. “There was a purpose to this movie, and I don’t really see the purpose to doing it again. So yeah, he’s locked away in the cupboard.”

Borat 2 trailer

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Cohen elaborated on his feelings about the importance of the second film. “I felt democracy was in peril, I felt people’s lives were in peril and I felt compelled to finish the movie,” he said. “The movie was originally about the danger of Trump and Trumpism. What coronavirus demonstrated was that there’s a lethal effect to his spreading of lies and conspiracy theories.” Regardless of whether the series continues or the reason the second film was made, fans will have two acclaimed Borat movies to cherish.