Michael Moore is locked in a brewing legal battle with Harvey and Bob Weinstein over the release of Fahrenheit 11/9, the anti-Donald Trump sequel to Moore’s 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, according to Deadline which reports that the Weinsteins want back the $2 million they already contributed to Moore’s sequel and are blocking the film’s release and transfer to another studio now that the director is refusing to refund the money.
The Weinsteins reportedly initially offered $6 million to produce 11/9. Now Moore is reportedly refusing to refund the $2 million to Bob and Harvey Weinstein amid the potential sale of The Weinstein Co., brought on by the fallout from the 50-plus women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault over a period of four decades.
Moore believes, according to Deadline’s sources, that refunding the $2 million to Harvey Weinstein would “morally compromise his film to cut a check to a man he considers a sexual predator.”
If this saber rattling leads to litigation, Moore would likely seek to undo the deal by alleging fraud against Harvey Weinstein, for entering into a deal on the film at a time he knew full well that his misconduct was being investigated and would soon be exposed. Ronan Farrow’s article in the New Yorker — detailing how Weinstein conscripted former Mossad agents to thwart Farrow and other journalists and find out what women were telling them for months — would seem to demonstrate ample advance knowledge. The Weinsteins announced their involvement in Moore’s documentary sequel just before Cannes last May. Bob Weinstein and his brother aren’t on speaking terms. I’d heard that the former seemed willing to step aside, but that could not be confirmed.
Declining to elaborate on the looming legal battle over Moore’s sequel, Bob Weinstein issued a 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.”
Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 — which Breitbart’s John Nolte called a “paranoid pack of audaciously demagogic lies dropped on the world in the heat of an American presidential election and an ongoing war in Iraq” — hauled in a record setting $224 million at the box office, making it the highest grossing documentary film of all-time.
The Weinsteins and Moore have gone to court before. In 2011 Moore filed a lawsuit over unpaid profits on Fahrenheit 9/11, which was produced by Fellowship Adventure Group — set up by Moore and TWC — and released in theaters through Lionsgate.