When it was first announced that Paramount Vantage and Overture would be distributing Michael Moore’s next film, the press release stated that “the subject matter of the new film is being kept under wraps by all the principals.” I think where people got confused is the release also called the film “a searing and provocative follow up to his groundbreaking 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11“. So everyone jumped on the story assuming it was the Fahrenheit 9/11 and 1/2 sequel that Moore mentioned in 2004. But Moore has stepped forward to clear the air:

“To just say it’s a sequel is so wrong,” Moore told The Associated Press. “It would be easier and safer to make a sequel, if that’s all it was, but this isn’t about Bush. We all know this. Regardless of who the president is come November, we have a big mess, a big, big mess to be cleaned up, and I don’t know whether it can be cleaned up. The toxicity of the spill may be so great that there’s nothing we can do about it. If that’s the case, where are we now as America and as Americans?”

Moore says that the documentary will go beyond Bush. The new film, due in 2009, will supposedly “examine America as an empire, study its standing since the Sept. 11 attacks and present revelations to surprise audiences as much as the first film did.”

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

But then comes this quote from chief executive officer of Overture Chris McGurk which confuses the matter further:

“The country has sort of been rotting from within, and the culprits are big business, big corporations, kind of the conservative government,” McGurk said. “`Bowling for Columbine,’ `Sicko,’ `Roger and Me’ all could have been episodes inside the context of this film.”

So wait, it’s about what? Is it a follow-up to Fahrenheit 9/11 or a followup to all of Moore’s films to date? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I was a little worried when they announced that a sequel was going forward. I’m a big fan of Moore’s work, but 9/11 was probably his least interesting documentary. And I’ll certainly be glad to see Moore leave Bush behind and do what he does best, tell a story. I’m just trying to figure out, what story will he tell this time?

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