UPDATED, 10:38 AM: In its biggest festival film buy, YouTube Red closed the $3.5 million deal for the Morgan Spurlock-directed Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, as Deadline scooped on September 8. They’ve confirmed the deal this morning, and the press release is below the original break, which came early in the Toronto Film Festival just as the first screening of the docu was getting underway.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, September 8, 12:08 PM: 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.
OSCAR® NOMINATED DIRECTOR
“SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY CHICKEN!”
Selected For Documentary Premiere at the
2017 Toronto International Film Festival
Film Will Release Theatrically in 2018, Followed by Exclusive Global Premiere on YouTube Red
LOS ANGELES — (September 22, 2017) — YouTube today announced it has acquired the rights to SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY CHICKEN!, directed by Academy Award® nominee Morgan Spurlock and co-written with Jeremy Chilnick, from Warrior Poets, Snoot Entertainment and Public Domain. The sequel to the Oscar® nominated documentary made its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival as an official selection of the Festival’s Documentary Premiere section. SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY CHICKEN! will release theatrically in 2018, followed by the exclusive global premiere on YouTube Red.
Thirteen years after SUPER SIZE ME garnered an Academy Award® nomination for Best Feature Documentary, muckraking filmmaker Morgan Spurlock reignites his battle with the food industry — this time from behind the register — as he opens his own fast food restaurant.
“I’m ecstatic to be partnering with YouTube Red for the release of Super Size Me 2!” said Morgan Spurlock. “There’s no one better to help get this film in front of more people worldwide than these guys. They are going to blow this clucker up!”
“Supersize Me 2” marks the second time Spurlock has partnered with YouTube, following the successful release of his documentary “Vlogumentary” on YouTube Red in 2016.
“Morgan Spurlock has tackled so many thought-provoking topics over the years, and we’re thrilled to partner with him once again on this revealing documentary,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube. “Morgan is skilled at sparking a global conversation on today’s most relevant issues, and ‘Super Size Me 2’ is yet another powerful film that will captivate viewers.”
The film is produced by Warrior Poets’ Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick and Matthew Galkin, as well as Keith Calder and Jessica Calder of Snoot Entertainment and Spencer Silna and Nicole Barton of Public Domain.
Morgan Spurlock is an award-winning and Academy Award®-nominated writer, director and producer. His first film, SUPER SIZE ME premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, winning Best Directing honors and went on to win the inaugural Writers Guild of America Best Documentary Screenplay. Other films from Spurlock include THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD, WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?, ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US, RATS, THE EAGLE HUNTRESS and many more.
YouTube Red is a subscription that gives you access to YouTube Red Original movies and series, a premium music service and an uninterrupted experience across YouTube. YouTube Red is currently available in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Korea.