Moore's Sicko

Michael Moore broke his “Sicko” silence on Friday, writing to an email list of his supporters that his follow-up docu to “Fahrenheit 9/11” is about three-quarters done and on target for a 2007 release by the Weinstein Company.

“As we've done with our other films, we don't discuss them while we are making them,” Moore wrote. “If people ask, we tell them 'Sicko' is 'a comedy about the 45 million people with no health care in the richest country on Earth.”

Moore also said that he received 19,000 responses to his February call for letters describing personal experiences with the health care system.

He added that the docu is straying from that simple premise. “I don't think the country needs a movie that tells you that HMOs and the pharmaceutical companies suck. Everybody knows that. I'd like to show you some things you don't know. So stay tuned for where this movie has led me. I think you might enjoy it.”

“Fahrenheit” set the record for a documentary at the box office, earning $119 million in the U.S. An early draft of the business plan for the Weinstein Co. predicted a $40 million gross — almost twice the domestic cume for Moore's “Bowling for Columbine,” which grossed $21 million in 2002.

The anticipated 2007 release date for “Sicko” is later than the September 2006 bow for which the Weinsteins had previously planned.

Except for the appeal for health care stories, Moore has been been silent on “Sicko.” However, pharmaceutical companies have already mounted plans to combat the docu, including circulating memos to employees warning them not to cooperate with Moore.

Two years after “Fahrenheit” debuted, Moore has remained a popular target of conservative commentators, a status he seems to enjoy. Moore wrote in his missive, “I realize that my silence doesn't stop the opposition with their weird obsession for me!” Then he added, “I have to say I did enjoy Tom DeLay blaming me and Ms. Streisand for why he had to resign from Congress!” and linked to a TV news interview with the former Republican representative.

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