EXCLUSIVE: The Morgan Spurlock-directed Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! is in advanced negotiations to be acquired by YouTube Red for around $3.5 million, sources said. The film is part of the TIFF Docs section, and the first official screening got underway half an hour ago at the Ryerson Theatre. If the deal closes they will have to figure out the rollout on the film, but I understand that a theatrical release will be part of the plan.
It is the most ambitious festival buy YouTube Red has made since Susanne Daniels left her post as MTV programming chief to steer the Google premium service into original productions. The prospect is compelling as monied tech companies take their place in the indie film ecosystem. YouTube Red would have an ideal partner in Spurlock, a charming and provocative filmmaker who tirelessly markets his movies and who would appreciate the voluminous resources that the Google-owned YouTube Red will have to reach potential viewers for the film.
Spurlock’s breakthrough came with the Oscar-nominated 2004 smash-hit original documentary Super Size Me. That film was fueled by Spurlock’s experiment of eating nothing but McDonald’s for a month. He survived it (barely, it seemed, from the paunch and the pallor of his skin onscreen), and the $65,000-budgeted hit grossed a super-sized $12 million.
His follow-up reignites Spurlock’s battle with the food industry, this time from behind the register: he opens his own fast food restaurant. Spurlock produced with Keith Calder, Jeremy Chilnick, Matthew Galkin, Spencer Silna, Jessica Calder, and Nicole Barton.
The sale is being handled by 30WEST and Cinetic Media.