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Michael Moore to Get Backing From Miramax, Source Says

May 13, 2003|From Reuters

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has found backing from Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax Film Corp. for a film about the Sept. 11 attacks that criticizes President Bush, a source familiar with the deal said Monday.

The title is "Fahrenheit 911" -- a reference to the date of the terrorist attacks and to Ray Bradbury's dystopian tale of book-burning "Fahrenheit 451."

The movie will look at the United States in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, and alleged links between the families of Bush and Osama bin Laden, the Muslim militant accused of coordinating the hijackings on that date.

Moore first used the "Fahrenheit 911" title for a February 2002 e-mail to fans in which he said publisher HarperCollins, which is owned by News Corp., hesitated in the aftermath of the hijackings to publish his book "Stupid White Men" because it was critical of Bush.

In March, Moore used his acceptance speech for an Academy Award for his previous film, "Bowling for Columbine," as an opportunity to criticize Bush, whom he called a "fictitious president."

Miramax, which took over after actor Mel Gibson's Icon Productions withdrew backing, will provide a few million dollars in temporary "bridge" funding, the sources said.

Such funding offers the studio less risk and a lower return than longer-term financing.

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