Paramount Vantage and Overture Films will co-finance and distribute Michael Moore’s follow-up to his 2004 Palme d’Or winner and global smash Fahrenheit 9/11.

Vantage will commence pre-sales here in what should become one of the hottest titles on the market and Overture will release in North America in a likely summer or autumn 2009 slot. Shooting in the US is expected to begin imminently.

Referring to Moore’s global reputation and the first film’s $225m worldwide gross, Vantage president Nick Meyer said Moore represented a ‘killer brand’, adding that the title would contain the words ‘Fahrenheit 9/11 ½.’

Moore’s two other theatrical hits include this year’s Oscar nominee Sicko and the 2003 Oscar winner Bowling For Columbine.

‘It’s great to be working again with Chris McGurk [Overture CEO] and [Paramount Film Group president] John Lesher,’ Moore said. ‘Both of them have been exceptional to work with in the past and I look forward to their assistance in this new project.’

‘We are thrilled to be working with Michael again,’ Overture chiefs McGurk and Rosett said. ‘His fearless film-making has become an important catalyst for challenging mainstream thoughts and values regarding the important critical issues facing this country and the world. Everyone on the Overture team is delighted to be involved with Michael’s exciting new film.’

‘Michael’s one of the greatest film-makers of our generation and when we got the chance to work with him we naturally snapped it up,’ Meyer said. ‘He’s been preparing this a long time and we’re thrilled to be in business with a branded film-maker of his calibre.’

Lesher previously worked with Moore as his agent at Endeavor and was involved in Fahrenheit 9/11, while McGurk and Rosett oversaw the release of Bowling For Columbine during their tenure at MGM/United Artists.

Moore is represented by Ari Emanuel of Endeavor, who brokered the deal with Justin Alvarado-Brown for Overture Films and Jeff Freedman for Paramount Vantage.