POSTED: 12:56 pm EDT June 7, 2004
He won the hearts and minds of critics and audiences at the Cannes Film Festival, but Michael Moore has upset a legendary science fiction author with the title his anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."
In an English translation of an interview Ray Bradbury did with the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, published last week, the Web site World Net Daily reported the author of the classic fiction novel "Fahrenheit 451" called Moore a "screwed a------" because he "stole" the title.
"He stole my title and changed the numbers without ever asking me for permission," the 83-year-old Bradbury reportedly said in the interview.
"Fahrenheit 451" -- Bradbury's future vision where firemen start fires to burn books -- refers to the temperature at which paper burns.
"Fahrenheit 9/11" questions President George W. Bush's handling of 9/11 and the war in Iraq. It also examines the ties between the Bush family and Osama bin Laden's.
Bradbury also called Moore a "horrible human being" in the interview, yet insisted that his anger had nothing to do with Moore's political views.
"He copied my title; that is what happened," Bradbury reportedly said in the interview. "That has nothing to do with my political opinions."
Bradbury reportedly tried to contact Moore about the title several months ago, but the filmmaker avoided him. Bradbury did not indicate in the report whether or not he would take legal action.
"Fahrenheit 9/11" won the Palme D'Or, the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, last month. After resolving a distribution conflict with its parent company Disney, Miramax studio heads Bob and Harvey Weinstein formed a company with Lions Gate Films and IFC films to release the films in U.S. theaters June 25.
In the interview with the Swedish paper, Bradbury reportedly predicted a dim forecast for "9/11" at the box office. "Who cares? Nobody will see his movie," Bradbury told the paper. "It is almost dead already. Never mind, nobody cares."
As of this printing, there was no response to Bradbury's interview on Moore's Web site.
According to the Internet Movie Database, a film version of "Fahrenheit 451" is in pre-production with "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile" filmmaker Frank Darabont at the helm. French filmmaker Francois Truffaut first turned the novel into a film in 1966, which starred Julie Christie and Oskar Werner as a fireman who questions his directive to destroy all books.