- According to Deadline, Michael Moore is trying to get out of his deal with The Weinstein Company for the release of his next movie, “Fahrenheit 11/9,” about Donald Trump.
- Harvey and Bob Weinstein reportedly want back the $US2 million they have put into the movie already before allowing him to shop it.
- Moore reportedly believes giving the money back would be morally compromising the movie and could take the brothers to court.
Since allegations of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct over three decades became public in October, many in Hollywood have wondered what will become of his company, The Weinstein Company, which he cofounded with his brother Bob in the early 2000s after leaving Miramax (which they also founded).
As the ripple effect of the Weinstein allegations has spread to the fields of entertainment, news media, and politics, The Weinstein Company has completely cleared its movie slate for the rest of 2017 and there are reports that it will be sold (though Bob Weinstein denies it).
Now there’s news that one of its most coveted projects in production is looking for the exit as well.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore is reportedly trying to find a way to get out of his deal with The Weinstein Company to release “Fahrenheit 11/9,” his upcoming documentary on Donald Trump that’s also a sequel to his 2004 doc, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” about then-president George W. Bush. The first movie holds the record for highest grossing documentary of all time.
According to Deadline, the filmmaker and his reps at WME have been blocked by The Weinstein Company from making a deal with another distributor or premium broadcast outlet.
In May, Moore announced that he was currently in production on “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and boasted that the film was “expected to be key in dissolving Trump’s ‘teflon’ shield and, in turn, his presidency.” The announcement also stated that The Weinstein Company would release the movie, the title of which refers to the month and day Trump was declared president.
According to Deadline, the Weinsteins put in just over $US2 million to date out of the $US6 million they pledged for the new Moore movie. If Moore wants to go to another company with the movie, the brothers want the $US2 million back first. Moore and his reps believe giving the money back would morally compromise the film and that the Weinsteins should see it as collateral damage from the Harvey scandal, according to Deadline.
Moore and the Weinsteins have a lot of history – both good and bad.
A big reason why the Weinsteins left Miramax was because its parent company, Disney, refused to release “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which looked at how Bush allegedly used the tragic events of September 11, 2001 to push his agenda for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Harvey and Bob Weinstein released the movie on their own (with the help of Lionsgate), and later formed the company The Weinstein Company.
The move paid off, as “Fahrenheit 9/11” won the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004 and went on to make over $US200 million worldwide (on a $US6 million budget).
But, Moore also had to sue the brothers in 2011 to get unpaid profits from “Fahrenheit 9/11.” And now Moore may have to take them to court again.
Deadline believes the filmmaker’s best option to get “Fahrenheit 11/9” back would be to go to court and allege fraud against Harvey Weinstein. Basically Moore would have to make the case that Weinstein agreed to be involved with the film though he knew his alleged misconduct was being investigated at the time by the likes of Ronan Farrow at NBC and eventually The New Yorker.
Moore spoke out against Weinstein’s alleged misconduct in a lengthy Facebook post.
Business Insider contacted Moore’s rep and The Weinstein Company for comment but did not get a response. However, Bob Weinstein gave this statement to Deadline: “Michael Moore and I always have and still enjoy a good personal and business relationship. With regards to commenting on his future film, I think he would be the best person to speak with.”
“Fahrenheit 11/9” should be completed next year.
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