The filmmakers behind are working on a follow-up to what has become the second-biggest political documentary in the history of the domestic box office, has learned exclusively.
Conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who starred in, co-wrote and co-directed , will return as the writer and star of a film simply titled to be directed by John Sullivan, who wrote and directed with D’Souza.
Gerald Molen, who won a best picture Oscar for producing with Steven Spielberg in 1993, will executive produce , as he did for .
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shocked some industry watchers in 2012 by coming seemingly from nowhere, opening on a single screen in Houston, Texas, and spreading to nearly 2,000 screens within two months, eventually earning $33.5 million on a production budget of $2.5 million. The only political documentary to outperform was Michael Moore’s , which made $119.2 million on a production budget of $6 million in 2004.
While was based on D’Souza’s book , the new film will not draw from previously known source material, and the filmmakers say is not technically a sequel to , though audiences may be inclined to view it as such.
In , D’Souza intends to recreate some famous moments in American history and ask the question: What would the world be like if the U.S. had not existed? He likened , in fact, to Frank Capra’s 1946 film in which George Bailey learns what his town would have been like had he never lived.
“President Obama looks at America as an oppressive force,” D’Souza said, “while I and millions of others around the world have a different view – that America has been a great blessing to its own people and to the world.”
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In , D’Souza travels to Nairobi to interview President Barack Obama‘s half brother, George Obama, and the trek and resulting video proved a marketing bonanza for the film. For , D’Souza, Molen and company have other tricks up their sleeves, though none they are ready to reveal.
“We intend to provide both serious answers and have some fun as we take Obama’s dreams for America to their logical conclusions,” D’Souza says.
D’Souza and his filmmaking partners plan to formally announce on Saturday in Washington, DC, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which began Thursday and included presentations from Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ann Coulter and others.
D’Souza also plans on unveiling the trailer for at CPAC, though has obtained an advance copy, which is embedded below.
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While the success of cannot be disputed, it could be the exception to the rule, as filmmakers have found it difficult to generate box-office returns with political documentaries. Several conservative efforts that followed stalled. , a film about deceased commentator Andrew Breitbart, earned only $81,000 in October, though it could eventually turn a profit, as it is being re-cut and re-released by FreeStyle Releasing on May 17 both theatrically and on DVD. Likewise, a right-wing look at the Occupy Wall Street movement, made just $53,000 when it was released in October by Mark Cuban’s Magnet Releasing, though the film also made revenue by way of VOD and DVD.
D’Souza says should make its way into theaters by the middle of next year, an advantageous time as Americans turn their attention toward politics again due to the midterm elections, when all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for grabs, as are 33 seats in the Senate.