Monday, April 22, 2024

Michael Moore and the Vanishing Film Company– What Happened to the People Behind “Where to Invade Next”?


The Toronto Film Festival opens this week. Last year, one of the two opening night films was Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next.”

You may recall that “Where to Invade Next” was bought with a lot of hoopla by Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, formerly of Weinstein’s Radius division. In August 2015, Janego and Quinn exited The Weinstein Company after producing two back to back Oscar winners in the documentary category, “20 Feet from Stardom” and “Citizenfour.” TWC declared that Radius would continue, and wished the pair of former Magnolia execs the best.

No one explained what happened. But sources said Janego and Quinn wanted more than TWC had to offer. Then they bought the Moore film.

A year later, Janego and Quinn are MIA. They never named their company. The Moore film went out under Moore’s company name. It made just $3.8 million despite great reviews. Also, despite its world view and global themes, “Where to Invade Next” never had a foreign release. It just came and went, even though Moore did everything he could to promote it.

A source tells me of Janego and Quinn, “there never was a company.” That’s all I know. The pair has vanished. At the time of the release, they were working out a deal with Alamo Drafthouse. In fact, “Where to Invade Next” is listed under that indie’s aegis.

When “Where to Invade Next” played the New York Film Festival last fall, the talk at dinner was that William Morris Endeavor had financed the film through its new purchase of IMG. The Moore film might have been the beginning of IMG Films. That was certainly the understanding I got from everyone involved. WME, Moore’s talent rep, has always been loyal to him. But it does seem like everything fizzled.

A head scratcher for sure. Any ideas? Email me at PS I wish Michael Moore had a surprise Trump movie coming. Meantime, “Where to Invade Next” is on DVD from Anchor Bay.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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