May 16, 2008 / 10:04 PM / 10 years ago

Michael Moore sees danger in "Fahrenheit" follow-up

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Oscar-winning documentary maker Michael Moore, who this week unveiled plans for a follow-up to his anti-Bush polemic “Fahrenheit 9/11,” said on Friday the new film would cover topics so “toxic” he probably should not make it.

But Moore, whose work ranges from an expose of American gun culture in “Bowling for Columbine” to a scathing critique of U.S. health care in “SiCKO,” relishes controversy, so his unnamed new movie will likewise be risky, he told reporters at the Cannes film festival.

“It’s something I shouldn’t make, something that is dangerous,” he said.

But Moore divulged few details of the film, which he only recently began and is tentatively set for release roughly a year from now by independent studio Overture Films and Paramount Vantage International.

The movie, he said, would not be a “sequel” to “Fahrenheit 9/11” but it will focus on policies of the Bush administration, examining how they have affected the lives of Americans and the reputation of the United States around the world.

With the United States in the throes of an economic slowdown and military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Moore wondered aloud if the country had become like the Roman Empire before its fall. “Are we at that point yet?” he asked.

Michael Moore arrives at a concert in honor of his film "Fahrenheit 9/11" to benefit Iraq Veterans Against the War at the House of Blues in Los Angeles in this January 6, 2005 file photograph. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

At box offices, his new movie will face risks. Recent films dealing with the current wars, such as “Stop-Loss” and “In the Valley of Elah,” were commercial flops.

But Moore said he believed those movies failed because most Americans no longer support the wars, whereas in 2004, when “Fahrenheit 9/11” was released, most Americans still backed U.S. military pursuits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He believes “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which ranks as the top-grossing political documentary of all time with more than $220 million at global box offices, was a hit because it told audiences things about the Bush administration that they were surprised to hear.

Similarly, he said his new movie will succeed by exposing information about President George W. Bush and his policies that will leave audiences stunned.

“What I‘m going to say in this film is what probably 70 percent of them (audiences) don’t want to hear,” Moore said.


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