GOOD MORNING: Michael Moore met with Harvey Weinstein and Moore says they plan to start working — now — on “Fahrenheit 9/11½.” “We want to get cameras rolling now and have it ready in two-three years,” Moore says. “We want to document and commercialize it. Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them. They weren’t told the truth. We’re communicators and it’s up to us to start doing it now. The official mourning period is over today and there is a silver lining — George W. Bush is prohibited by law from running again.” And as for those who claim that Hollywood was an albatross on the Democrats’ neck, Moore says, “America loves Hollywood. When given a chance to vote for someone from Hollywood, they jump in.” He cited the history of successful Republican actor-politicians from George Murphy to Ronnie Reagan to Arnold. “Who is the Democrats’ Arnold? We have a number of them. What American wouldn’t vote for Tom Hanks? Hollywood is full of people like that.” When I asked what actor would trade a $20 million salary and a percentage of the gross, he countered with “Let’s pay the actor-politicians a presidential salary of $20 million — plus a percentage of the GNP.” He says “Hollywood gets a chance for one more vote this year”: Moore and Harvey are going ahead on the Oscar campaign for “Fahrenheit 9/11” in best picture and other applicable categories. Harvey told him, “Let’s do it. And I said ‘whatever Harvey wants, I’m ready.'” He isn’t bothered by the absence of suitable category for a Golden Globe nomination –” We’re not a musical, comedy or dramatic feature.” He laughingly admits, “I don’t know if people want to see me on the stage of the Kodak again. However, since my wife (Kathleen) was the producer, if I win — she speaks!”. Thousands of the “Fahrenheit” DVDs have been donated to libraries and schools. He gave them away on his trek through 63 cities in the past month — they included stops in Ohio and Florida. The issues (for the next film) have not changed because of the election. “They are Iraq and terrorism.” He says he continues to get mail from the armed forces telling of their disappointments.” I asked about his hate mail? “There’s very little. It’s dropped down to a few drive-by gloaters.” And yes, he’ll continue preparing his other film, “Sicko,” on the national health care industry.
I’LL OPEN UP a therapy office for Democrats,” Ted Danson laughingly tells me. He and wife Mary Steenburgen (Little Rock-born and raised), were staunch Kerry supporters and are close friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton. They wing to the opening of the Clinton Presidential Library next week. And he also plans to develop a “mockumentary” in which he will interview subjects in an effort “to save the world.” Meanwhile, Danson continues to work tirelessly for the American Oceans Campaign “to protect and restore the world’s oceans.” Tonight, their awards go to CAA’s Rick Nicita and Dian Ogilvie of Toyota Lexus; the Ted Danson Ocean Hero award will be presented to Julie Packard of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Nicole Kidman makes the presentation to Nicita, Jake Gyllenhaal to Ogilvie and Leon Panetta to Julie Packard. The event is held for the first time at the Esquire House in BevHills. Danson tells me the major Oceana efforts are now aimed against bottom trawling and the danger of mercury in seafood. “One in six women of child-bearing age now have too much mercury in their system for safe child bearing,” he says.
I HOPE , IN SOME form we’ll have the party again next year,” said MGM vice chairman Chris McGurk as he and wife Jamie graciously welcomed more than 400 guests to their home Tuesday night for the third annual MGM/UA Open House. With the closing of the MGM sale to Sony, I wondered what the future holds for the studio’s personnel — including, of course, McGurk. He noted, “Until the deal actually closes — in six to nine months — we are continuing with business as usual, greenlighting and developing projects. I hope we’ll go out with a bang.” As for himself we talked the possible other situations — teaming with Harvey, Paramount, Disney? He noted the powerful product list for release within that six-to-nine month period: “Hotel Rwanda,” “Fascination,” “Swimming Upstream,” “Be Cool,” “Beauty Shop,” “The Amityville Horror,” ‘The Pink Panther,” and “Into the Blue.” Reps of those films on hand included Steve Martin (“Panther”) and Don Cheadle (“Hotel Rwanda”) well as “De-Lovely’s” Ashley Judd and Dario Franchitti. Also there: Irwin Winkler, whose dozen films for MGM and UA include the five “Rockys” well as “Raging Bull,” “New York, New York,” and “De-Lovely.” It’s hard to believe that MGM and UA will disappear except from labels on DVDs.
NORMAN LLOYD WAS birthday-partied at the Bel-Air Hotel by his tennis-playing pals on his 90th birthday. They included Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Dean Hargrove, Peter Bart, Tim O’Connor, George Eckstein. Lloyd, who worked (as director-actor) with Hitchcock, Welles, Chaplin, Scorsese and Kazan, will next be seen in “In Her Shoes,” playing — a 90-year-old blind professor. … “Black List” was the password given to get into the UCLA parking lot and on to the James Bridges Theater where Glenn Schaeffer and Dean Robert Rosen presented the Freedom of Expression Medal to Kirk Douglas and Edward Lewis “for having broken the Hollywood Blacklist by using screenwriter Dalton Trumbo’s name on the film ‘Spartacus’,” which was screened after the presentation with an intro by Leonard Maltin. The participants all noted the dangers of that era in today’s political climate. Rosen warned, “We see a media that is becoming less inquisitive, less critical and less willing to be the protector of truly democratic debate.” … Congrats to Johnny Carson on his donation of $5.3 million to the U. of Nebraska’s College of Fine and Performing Arts’ Department of Theater Arts. … Michael Douglas and Maria Shriver intro clips on Barbara Walters as she is honored Monday by the Museum of TV & Radio at the BevHills Hotel.