Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore is returning to the familiar territory of the U.S. government and its war machine with Where to Invade Next, his secret movie project to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival and unveiled Tuesday.
“The issue of the United States in infinite war is something that has concerned me for quite some time, and provides the necessary satire for this film,” Moore said during a live-streamed Q&A Tuesday afternoon on Periscope. The filmmaker remained for the most part tight-lipped about the project, which he managed to keep under wraps until the world premiere was announced Tuesday morning by Toronto festival organizers.
“Now the secret is out: I have a new movie. We’re very excited about having the premiere in Toronto,” Moore said. “I’ve been very quiet about the making of this film. You probably haven’t seem much of me. … We’ve been very diligent about keeping this under cover,” he added.
Moore said no one U.S. military adventure inspired Where to Invade Next. “I don’t think there’s any one trigger. We’ve all been living in this time, certainly post-9/11, and everything that’s going on in this country, in this constant need to always have an enemy — where’s our next enemy? — so we can keep this whole military industrial complex alive, and keep the companies that make a lot of money in business,” he explained.
“So I’ve always been a little bothered by that, and so that’s where the comedy comes from,” he added. According to the Toronto festival website, Where to Invade Next will have Moore telling the Pentagon to stand down, as “he will do the invading for America from now on.”
The film, which Moore wrote and directs, is produced by Moore, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal. Where to Invade Next reteams the filmmaker with a host of creatives on earlier documentaries, including cinematographers Richard Rowley (Dirty Wars) and Jayme Roy, who worked on Capitalism: A Love Story and Roseanne for President.
And the editors are Pablo Proenza and Woody Richman, both of whom worked on Capitalism: A Love Story, alongside Tyler Walk (Roseanne for President). Mark Shapiro, Will Staeger and Rod Birleson are executive producing.
WME is shopping Where to Invade Next worldwide. Toronto Film Festival docs programmer Thom Powers told The Hollywood Reporter he still can’t believe Moore was able to keep his latest film a secret until Tuesday morning.
Powers said he screened Where to Invade Next a couple of weeks ago in New York City after Moore rang him to flag the project. “I was hugely impressed. It’s very funny. It’s very timely. It’s going to be a big conversation starter this fall. It will attract a lot of attention around the globe. It’s up there with Michael’s best work,” Powers said.
Moore in his online Q&A hinted at a Thanksgiving release for Where to Invade Next as he talked about a holiday release after the Toronto festival bow.
July 28, 1:05 p.m. Updated with additional comments by Michael Moore.