Studio will back 'Fahrenheit' follow-up

Miramax apparently is preparing to finance and distribute Michael Moore’s upcoming documentary, which is tentatively called “Sicko” and targets the American healthcare system. The country’s most high-profile doc-jock is expected to begin work on his latest pic next year.

While pic is not necessarily as incendiary as the more overtly political “Fahrenheit 9/11,” it’s unclear what the level of enthusiasm, if any, for another Moore project is on the part of the Mouse House.

(A Disney spokesman said Tuesday there were no talks about anything related to Moore at the Mouse House.)

An eventual impasse over the doc could, in fact, add another wrinkle to the already fragile relationship between Disney CEO Michael Eisner and Harvey and Bob Weinstein as they puzzle over their future as well as the status of Miramax within the Disney fold.

If Disney does pass on this project, it shouldn’t be much of a problem for the Weinsteins to come up with an alternative solution.

Moore’s anti-Bush doc “Fahrenheit 9/11″ was purchased by the Weinsteins’ ad hoc Fellowship Adventure Group and released in association with Lions Gate Films and IFC Films after Disney refused to handle the pic. It has grossed some $120 million in its North American theatrical release and will be released on DVD before the presidential election.

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