It’s been clear for a while now that there was more Borat of some kind on the way, but many aspects of the project remain cloaked in mystery. Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat Sagdiyev remains by far his most famous creation in the U.S., a tool utilized by Cohen in 2006’s Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan to both tell a fish-out-of-water story and mock the insensitive nature of right-wing America. The film became a huge hit both for Cohen’s impressive improvisational chops and the outrageous sentiments he was often able to coax out of the “average Americans” he was interviewing.
There’s always been talk of another Borat-related follow-up, but that project was presented with an obvious issue from the start: Borat is a much more recognizable character now. Cohen can’t exactly waltz into all the locations he once had while dressed as Borat, trusting on no one to recognize this strange immigrant, and surely that would negatively impact that quality of material he was able to gather. And yet, reports have been circulating recently that Cohen had been seen filming as Borat, and he’d even been captured on camera portraying the character during a film shoot. Now, Collider is reporting that not only has the film already been shot in full, but it’s also been screened for select Hollywood audiences.
Collider initially suggested that the premise of Borat 2 might essentially be that after the “great success” of the first film, Borat Sagdiyev grew too big for his britches, deciding that he’s now such a big star that he has to disguise himself in order to speak further with the public. This was described as “Cohen playing Borat playing Cohen,” but another source then reportedly refuted this description to Collider. That puts us right back in the dark, although the idea of Cohen in disguise, interviewing people, certainly sounds quite a bit like his Who Is America? series for Showtime. That might make us wonder if these Borat segments are merely intended for another such series, but they’ve repeatedly been described as a new feature film instead.
The most obvious landing place for such a film, then, would have to be one of the major streaming services, as theaters remain a particularly tenuous proposition during the pandemic. One has to wonder if we’ll be hearing about a big, Borat-related announcement in the immediate future, particularly if Cohen intends to release a politically infused satire on the eve of the 2020 Presidential Election.
Regardless, it would be a return to Cohen’s bread-and-butter, and a formula he’s attempted to revisit since 2006 without ever quite capturing the same lightning in a bottle. Films like Bruno and The Dictator didn’t become pop-cultural sensations in a way that could possibly approach Borat, and one can only imagine that the Trump presidency has only infused Cohen with more determination to make a typically outlandish statement. Who can imagine what Borat would have to say about 2020? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
We’ll bring you more information on Borat 2 when it finally materializes in full.