the take

Morgan Spurlock Probably Did Not Find Osama bin Laden

Photo: Getty Images

He made his name upchucking McNuggets out the driver’s side of an automobile — now has documentarian Morgan Spurlock discovered the whereabouts of the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks? Probably not! Fifteen minutes of the Super Size Me director’s upcoming movie, Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?, in which Spurlock sniffs the trail of the disappeared Al Qaeda leader, were screened at February’s Berlin Film Festival for just 50 prospective studio buyers, all bound by “draconian” nondisclosure agreements (“Basically, it said they are going to kill me, my company, and my family if I say anything at all about this,” said one), and the Weinstein brothers bought it immediately after for an undisclosed sum of money. Why are we just finding out about this? Because nobody read Variety in February, apparently. (Hey, it’s not our fault — Vulture didn’t even exist in February!)

On Sunday, /Film reported nonchalantly on the film’s premise and included a possibly out-of-context quote from an interview that Spurlock’s director of photography gave in June (“We’ve definitely got the Holy Grail,” said DP Daniel Marracino, probably referring to how great the movie’s cinematography is). Then this blog picked up the story, made some shit up (“everyone’s been saying that Spurlock has uncovered something shocking”), and got “dugg” 3,000 times. Next, Ain’t It Cool News, MSNBC, Access Hollywood, Mediabistro, Cinema Blend, and AOL News all rereported it, citing /Film, as if this were actually something new. The Guardian and the New York Times were both skeptical, but nobody went back to the original Variety story, in which one of the studio buyers who saw a piece of Where in the World had this to say: “It was shocking — the [nondisclosure] agreement, not the footage.” So, now that we have most of the facts, we can draw only one reasonable conclusion: Morgan Spurlock found the Holy Grail!

Weinsteins nab Spurlock project [Variety]
Spurlock bites into film, TV projects [Variety]
First Look: Morgan Spurlock’s Where In The World is Osama Bin Laden? [/Film]

Morgan Spurlock Probably Did Not Find Osama bin Laden