The sequel to Sacha Baron Cohen’s hit 2006 comedy, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, may be enjoying a wave of promotion and fanfare due to its timely release, though his partner from the first flick, Ken Davitan, wasn’t pleased about being brushed aside.
After 14 years on the shelf, Cohen finally continued the story of his now-iconic Borat Sagdiyev character. The Kazakhstani reporter ventured back to the United States, though this time he was accompanied by his daughter Tutar.
While the highly anticipated follow up was seen by “tens of millions” over the opening weekend, Amazon claimed, one key element was missing. Borat’s partner in crime throughout his initial story was Azamat Bagatov. Without ruining a cheeky joke early into the sequel, his companion didn’t have any proper screen time in the 2020 release.
As it turns out, Davitan’s character was never supposed to play a major role in Borat 2. However, the American actor was critical of Cohen, and his production company, for misleading him well before the film launched online.
“Apparently Sacha doesn’t love Azamat,” he said in an interview with Shamoonreacts on Instagram. “They told me that Sacha was doing a big film and there’s a small part in it for the two of us. I said I didn’t want to reprise the character unless we’re doing Borat 2.”
Given how much screen time Davitan had in the first flick, his character was just as central to the plot as Borat’s daughter was in the 2020 sequel. Though he was assured that the new project “[wasn’t] Borat 2 and will never be Borat 2. It’s never happening.” Evidently, that wasn’t the case.
“They offered me a very little amount of money. In the first movie, I only made $60,000 and all they wanted to do was pay me a little more than that. They made me sign papers a year and a half ago that it was a different movie, a different concept and I said no… I want to do Borat 2.”
Cohen always keeps things close to his chest when working on new projects in disguise. It’s clear that Davitan may have even been led astray to prevent any leaks on a Borat sequel. “I didn’t jump on board, and then it comes out that it’s Borat 2,” he said. “I just hope it’s half as funny as the first one.”
“He does his own thing, he’s not into buddy movies,” Davitan added. You’d think the door might be open for an reunion, if the two could come to terms. Unfortunately, Subsequent Moviefilm certainly rules out that possibility.
If we ever see Cohen reprise the iconic role again — perhaps another 14 years down the road — maybe he’ll be joined by yet another new supporting actor.