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Big Wayne
05-13-2008, 07:29 PM
This is great news. We should get Moore on BH.tv.


Michael Moore making '9/11' sequel

Documentary to be released in 2009
By PAMELA MCCLINTOCK, ANNE THOMPSON

Michael Moore is making a sequel to "Fahrenheit 9/11" for Paramount Vantage and Overture Films, who will shop the project to international buyers when the Cannes Film Festival and market get under way today.

The two companies are co-financing and co-producing the untitled documentary, which will be released in 2009. Overture will distribute the film domestically, while Vantage will handle international.

Moore may be leaving the Weinstein Co. -- where he made his last two films, including "Fahrenheit" -- but Overture and Vantage are no strangers to the filmmaker. Overture CEO Chris McGurk and COO Danny Rosett were both at MGM and United Artists, home of Moore's "Bowling for Columbine."

Moore also knows Vantage topper Nick Meyer, former president of Lionsgate's international arm. Lionsgate teamed with Bob and Harvey Weinstein and distributed Fahrenheit after Disney refused to let Miramax to do so. Lionsgate again teamed with the Weinstein's to distribute Moore's last docu, "Sicko."

Also, Moore is no stranger to the Croisette. "Fahrenheit," a scathing indictment of George W. Bush's war on terrorism and a hit at the worldwide box office, won the coveted Palm d'Or in 2004. "Bowling for Columbine" also played at Cannes, while "Sicko" premed here last year.

It's possible that his new docu could play at Cannes next year, if it isn't released earlier in the Spring. He's already at work on the docu.

"Clearly, we have a movie of global appeal here. Michael Moore is a very talented filmmaker, and this is a branded property," Meyer said.

Sequel will pick up where "Fahrenheit" left off. In the time since, President Bush's popularity has plummeted, while the Iraq war continues and the economy falters.

"It's a vote of confidence on Michael's part, and a great partnership for all of us," Rosett said. "There is a voracious appetite for this kind of commentary."

All in all, Moore has made three of the top five grossing documentaries of all time. "Fahrenheit" is the highest grossing docu ever domestically, earning $119.1 million. It grossed another $100 million at the international box office.

Moore's decision not to make his next film with the Weinstein Co. comes after "Sicko" failed to ignite the box office. Film, which took on the U.S. health care system, grossed $24.5 million domestically and $11.2 million internationally. Topically, the film didn't resonate with overseas auds.

Landing the "Fahrenheit" sequel is a high-profile score for Overture and Vantage, and a likely blow for the Weinstein Co.

Deal strengthens the already established relationship between Vantage and Overture. Last year, the two entered into an exclusive international distribution deal that gives Overture access to Vantage's international sales division, as well as the distrib arm of Paramount Pictures Intl.

Vantage will likely keep distribution rights to certain overseas territories, after selling off the rest.