Director discusses follow-up to 'Fahrenheit 9/11'

Michael Moore came to Cannes to promo his untitled follow-up to “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which he does not see as a sequel, but as a continuation of a series started in 2002 with “Bowling for Columbine.” “Maybe I’ll call it ‘Bush Be Gone,’ ” he quipped at a Carlton cocktail party Friday thrown by his co-financier/distribs Overture and Paramount Vantage, which are selling overseas rights.

Moore has been working on the film for the past couple of years, but finishing it in time for the November election will be a tall order.

“Like ‘Bowling for Columbine,’ before I shot anything I did a lot of research,” he said. “A lot of travel and discussion and thought went into it. This process is similar but on a large scale.”

Moore doesn’t think the reason that “Fahrenheit 9/11” did so much better in 2004 ($220 million worldwide) than other Iraq films was that it was the earliest.

“A number of Iraq films were quite good,” he said. “They were made after Hollywood decided it was safe and wouldn’t offend anyone to make them. The American public in 2008 doesn’t need to go to the movie theaters to be told that the Iraq war is a bad idea. They’re already there. They get there because some people are willing to stick their necks out at the beginning and say the emperor has no clothes. I make films about things before it’s safe. With ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ audiences knew they were going to see something they had never seen before. This goes to my basic belief in the audience. They love danger and love to sit on the edge of their seat with excitement. In this film, I am going to take a look at the empire that we’ve created and ask the question, ‘How did we get here?’ And exactly when are the lights being turned off on this empire?”

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