The Weinstein Co. can’t get enough of Michael Moore.
As the company launches the documentary filmmaker’s health-care expose “Sicko” out of competish in Cannes today, it is also starting to sell a new title, “Michael Moore’s Uprising,” to foreign buyers.
Directed by Moore, the concert film, which is in post-production, is in two parts. “Live in London” documents Moore’s fall 2002 London one-man stage show, “The Average Everyday Evildoers,” which was sold out for its entire five-week run at the Roundhouse Theatre in Camden. Filmed after the release of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “Live Across America” covers Moore’s 62-city college fall 2004 tour to drum up the youth vote for the presidential election.
“It’s not only an incredible record of our time,” said Harvey Weinstein, “but it is unbelievably hilarious.”
The filmmaker has long tried to figure out how to assemble the material. Now that many of his global fans own the “Fahrenheit 9/11” DVD, Moore and the Weinsteins decidedthis film could function as a companion piece.
“Live in London” helped to inform Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” he said. Moore performed against four 20-foot photo backdrops of a topless Saddam Hussein swimming in a river, the 14-year-old Osama Bin Laden wearing bellbottoms, a mod Tony Blair and a prep-school Prexy Bush posing with cheerleaders. Moore sang satiric songs to each of the Evildoers, and invited smart Americans and dumb Brits to compete in “Stump the Yank.” All but two nights, the Brit won the contest.
For Moore’s 2004 “Slacker Uprising Tour,” he covered 62 college arenas in 42 days, from the Key Arena in Seattle and the Pit in Albuquerque, to the Del Mar race track in San Diego and U. of Florida’s basketball stadium, playing to 8,000 to 14,000 people. Moore invited various guests to perform onstage, including Eddie Vedder, Tom Morello, Roseanne Barr, Joan Baez, the Goo Goo Dolls and Viggo Mortensen.
The Weinstein Co. plans a limited specialized run in the U.S. and a robust homevideo push with their Genius label. Weinstein Intl. prexy Glen Basner said there will be some theatrical interest in the film in certain territories, with more interest on the ancillary side.
“Fahrenheit 9/11” earned $222 million worldwide, about evenly split between domestic and international. Moore plays well both at home and abroad because “his movies are funny, entertaining and smart,” Basner said. “He boils it down to the human element.”