EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to the sequel of the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The film, which stars Sacha Baron Cohen in the title role once again,will premiere late October on Amazon Prime and its subscribers in 240 countries and territories.
The Borat sequel was the first movie made during the COVID-19 shutdown, shot surreptitiously as quickly as coronavirus shooting restrictions were eased, and unions were in agreement on a return to shooting. When that happened, Baron Cohen and his team were filming the movie the next day with a minimal crew.
Baron Cohen and cohorts flew to various parts of the U.S. and internationally to shoot the film. As he did on the first Borat, the follow-up film Brüno, and his Showtime summer series Who Is America, Baron Cohen risked his life multiple times to shoot the scenes in this film. Indeed, I’m told by sources that he had to wear a bulletproof vest on two different shooting days and on many days, there were risky and dangerous scenarios in shooting. Baron Cohen managed to do a good job keeping the film under wraps, though word of it has leaked a bit after it wrapped and CAA Media Finance showed it to buyers and set the distribution deal.
Baron Cohen rushed to have the film ready to open before Election Day. The first film was a big success, grossing $262 million worldwide for Fox. Given the fact that that studio was swallowed by Disney, and theatrical releases are more perilous than ever in the pandemic, they decided the best way for the movie to be seen by its widest audience before Election Day was to open on Amazon Prime before the end of October. So it will be on Prime that Baron Cohen does what he has turned into a singular art form: going undercover to get people to reveal their true selves and their often unflattering biases, with only the slightest provocation.