In 2004, Morgan Spurlock shocked the world with his game-changing fast food documentary, Super Size Me. He’s back with a sequel.
In the first installation, Spurlock ate only McDonald’s food for 30 days. He tracked his physical, mental and emotional deterioration, examining how the fast food industry was impacting our bodies and minds.
The film was nominated for an Academy Award. The fast food industry began to rebrand as healthier and more conscientious. At one point, a red flag went off for Spurlock. He got an email from a fast food company asking him to be a spokesperson in one of their commercials.
“I was like, wow — maybe now is the time to dive back in, if things have changed so much that they think I should be the face of their company,” he recalled.
Supersize Me 2: Holy Chicken! sees Spurlock run his own fast food pop-up, in an attempt to understand the thought processes behind the corporations themselves: “If I was the owner of a fast-food chain, how am I thinking? How am I thinking to get you to buy it, to eat it, to look at us differently?”
His biggest revelation was how farmers and workers were treated in this non-stop commercial machine.
The film is set to release in cinemas in Spring. But Spurlock is already in the process of creating another documentary about human intelligence and brain implantation technology. It’s an apt venture in the age of TV series like Black Mirror and Westworld.
“We live in a time now where we’re already creating these brain implants that will cure diseases, things like epilepsy, Parkinsons or Alzheimers,” said Spurlock.
Chips may eventually be able to store more of your memory and allow you to learn more or learn faster. “The whole goal was, ‘Let’s make a horror movie feel like a documentary,’” he said.
Back in 2013, Spurlock tried his hand at yet another non-fiction genre — he tracked British-Irish boy band One Direction for a 3D concert film, This Is Us.
It wasn’t his first brush-in with the music industry. Six months into making the Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Spurlock received a call from Paramount about a Justin Bieber documentary. A couple of years later, while filming Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope with Joss Whedon and Stan Lee, Paramount called again with a Katy Perry film. Neither worked out.
“The next fall, I got called by Sony and they said, ‘Have you heard of this band One Direction?’ I was like, this is the third time I’ve gotten one of these. I at least have to throw my hat in the ring,” he said.
“I think they’re just five great guys. They held it together really well, they did an amazing job of gut-checking each other along the way to make sure that nobody’s ego got too big, nobody became something they shouldn’t. For me, it was an incredibly fun process. And to get to make a giant, 3D movie for a studio for like, 13 million dollars? It was a dream.”
Spurlock added that he was “not shocked at all” to hear that the band had gone on hiatus in 2015 — but whose solo career would he most likely document in a film?
“Well, there was just one made about Harry [Styles], so I couldn’t do that,” said Spurlock. “Niall [Horan] would probably be a fun one, to spend time with him and all his friends in Ireland would be pretty great.”