The follow-up to Morgan Spurlock's eye-opening 2004 documentary, Super Size Me, premiered last Friday at TIFF.
Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken, Morgan Spurlock's follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2004 documentary, might not land in theaters but on your computer instead. Nearly a decade and a half after Spurlock released his startling and riveting 2004 consumer-perspective look at the fast food industry, the director is in talks to release his long-awaited sequel with YouTube's paid monthly subscription service, YouTube Red, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reports of YouTube Red's "exclusive negotiations" suggest that the digital streamer could spend upwards of $3.5 million to acquire the film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this past Friday.
If the deal is successful, Holy Chicken would join the ranks of other critically acclaimed YouTube Red properties including Single By 30, Gigi Gorgeous: This is Everything, and Paranormal Action Squad. The potential acquisition, according to THR, is in line with a recent push for increased involvement in the festival market from digital content creators and tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and YouTube Red.
Super Size Me, which earned $20 million at the box office worldwide, followed Spurlock's 30-day quest to eat only McDonald's food products. Holy Chicken will follow Spurlock as he opens and runs his own fast-food restaurant: a chicken spot in Ohio. The decision to focus on poultry, according to Spurlock, was influenced by the industry's heavy reliance on the meat (as of 2014 there is more poultry livestock worldwide than any other domesticated source of meat), as well as our culture's perception of it as a "healthier" option.
Super Size Me: Holy Chicken will address whether that's a misconception, and answer questions about what it takes to open up a restaurant, in addition to exploring what their marketing and distribution practices are. For Spurlock, the film also calls out of what he sees as a "greenwashing" of the fast-food industry following his first film.
"I think the genesis of what's happened in the food business since the first Super Size Me is there's been this wave of what I'd call 'healthier foods,'" Spurlock told Deadline. "... All of these things that make us all believe that these companies have our best interest in mind, that they're doing things that are better for us."
"I think that what the film does a great job of showing is how misleading a lot of this is, how we are continuing to be sold things that take advantage of us, that we are being manipulated as consumers," Spurlock continued.
The partnership between YouTube Red and the Super Size Me writer, director and producer would mark the second time YouTube has struck gold with a TIFF selection. Last year it picked up Nick Cannon's Brooklyn-based Jamaican dancehall drama, King of the Dancehall.