Miramax will fund 'Fahrenheit 911' film

Michael Moore tackles Bush, bin Laden

Sunday, May 18, 2003

"Bowling for Columbine" director Michael Moore, who called President Bush a "fictitious president" in his controversial Oscar acceptance speech, has landed a deal with Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax Films to make a movie that is likely to generate even more heat for the documentary filmmaker.

"Fahrenheit 911" -- the title marries the hijackings date to the title of Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel "Fahrenheit 451" -- will look at alleged links between the families of Bush and Osama bin Laden, the Islamic militant accused of coordinating the Sept. 11 hijackings.

In comments published March 27 in the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, N.Y., Moore said, "I'm making a film called Fahrenheit 911, the temperature at which freedom burns. It'll be about how Bush is using 9-11 and those 3,000 lost lives as an excuse to move along his own conservative agenda."

Miramax took over after Mel Gibson's Icon Productions withdrew backing for the production. Miramax will provide a few million dollars in temporary "bridge" funding, which will involve less risk for the studio than longer-term financing would.

But some groups are already up in arms about the deal. Conservative Web site www.freerepublic.com calls the project an "attack film on Bush" and urges a boycott on all Disney products. A source close to Miramax said the company was undaunted by the threat.