FRANCHISE FATIGUE

Even anti-establishment documentaries get sequels nowadays

Obsession
Glass
Obsession
Glass

Perhaps “franchise fatigue” is now reaching documentaries.

Amidst the more than 20 movie sequels and reboots slated for 2017, Michael Moore is being tapped for a follow up to his 2004 award-winning political documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The sequel, called Fahrenheit 11/9, in reference to the date that Donald Trump became president-elect of the US, will take aim at the 45th president of the US, just as its predecessor went after the George W. Bush administration’s entry into the Iraq War.

The film remains the top-grossing documentary of all-time, with $222 million in global box-office returns.

It’s not the only political documentary to be revived in the age of Trump. The climate-crisis 2006 doc, An Inconvenient Truth, which also performed well at the US box office, has a sequel slated for July, too.

Moore has reportedly been working for months on the new film, which he’s billing it as a Trump takedown. “No matter what you throw at him, it hasn’t worked,” Moore told Rolling Stone. “No matter what is revealed, he remains standing. Facts, reality, brains cannot defeat him. Even when he commits a self-inflicted wound, he gets up the next morning and keeps going and tweeting. That all ends with this movie.” It is the outspoken liberal’s second film about the US president.

The new movie was announced at Cannes yesterday, where The Weinstein Company’s Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who also worked with Moore on Fahrenheit 9/11 while at Miramax, will be shopping the film to international buyers at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2004, Fahrenheit 9/11 won the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the festival and one of the most prestigious achievements an arthouse film can receive. The movie also had the top documentary video-rental debut in the US when it was released on DVD and VHS video in October 2004.

Lately, platforms like Netflix and Amazon have opened up documentaries to even wider audiences by making them more accessible. True-crime series like Netflix’s Making a Murderer and HBO’s The Jinx became pop-culture hits and spurred a new wave of documentary filmmaking. Netflix currently has six original new and upcoming documentaries slated for 2017, included the newly released political documentary Get Me Roger Stone.

The streaming service will also be screening and shopping—albeit controversial—at Cannes this year.


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