Michael Moore Takes Aim at George W. Bush for Next Doc
by Christopher Henderson
Stagehands may get the chance to boo Michael Moore a second time at Oscar 2005. Moore has found a surprising production company, Mel Gibson's Icon Productions to back his next film "Fahrenheit 911." The new documentary will be no less controversial than the Oscar-winning "Bowling for Columbine."
"The primary thrust of the film is what happened to the country since Sept. 11 and how the Bush administration used this tragic event to push its agenda," commented Moore in an interview with Variety. "It certainly does deal with the Bush and bin Laden ties. It asks a number of questions that I don't have the answers to yet, but which I intend to find out."
The potential furor around the new film and the tumult surrounding Moore's Oscar night speech did nothing to deter bidders for "Fahrenheit 911." Variety called the sale, which ended with Icon's bid of more than $10 million up front and potential back end, a "fevered auction." Gibson, a staunch Republican, put politics aside, apparently swayed more by "Bowling for Columbine's" $40 million worldwide gross than its left-leaning bent.
Moore began researching "Fahrenheit 911" more than a year ago and intends to complete it in time for submission to Cannes 2004 and a theatrical release prior to the presidential election next November.
The Bush - bin Laden ties that Moore will explore include George Bush Sr.'s business dealings with Mohammed bin Laden, the Saudi construction magnate who left $300 million to his son, Osama and the connection between the Bush Sr. led CIA and the forces in Afghanistan that fought the Soviet Union in the late 70s and early 80s.
In his Variety interview, Moore attributed the "Fahrenheit" deal and increased sales of his book "Stupid White Men" since his Oscar speech to public support for his politics. "It's because the majority of Americans agree with me, see the economy in the toilet, and didn't vote for George W. People are now realizing that you can question your government while still caring about the soldiers."