Hard as it is to believe, it’s been more than 15 years since “Super Size Me” came out. The documentary made a star out of Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker who subsisted solely on food from McDonald’s for an entire month. In the process he charted the health effects he endured—they weren’t good—as well as the dark influence of the fast-food industry in American society.
Today Spurlock is back with a sequel. With “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” Spurlock asks whether fast food has gotten any healthier in the intervening years, as industry proponents claim. “The marketing’s gotten healthier,” Spurlock jokes on the latest episode of the “Ad Lib” podcast.
As the film’s title suggests, he focuses on industrial chicken farming—going so far as to open his own chicken farm to raise birds for a chicken sandwich shop called Holy Chicken! Along the way, Spurlock teamed up with David Littlejohn, co-founder and chief creative officer of the Tennessee-based agency Humanaut, to learn about fast food is marketed, often deceptively, today—and how they should pitch their own chicken sandwiches. The Holy Chicken! sandwich stand has so far only existed in pop-up form but Spurlock and Littlejohn, who also joins the podcast, says there are plans to open a permanent store.
Listen to the podcast to hear everything that went into both the making of the film and the creation of the shop, complete with brutally honest marketing that humorously lays bare the truth behind mass chicken production.
“Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” was supposed to come out two years ago but was shelved during the Me Too movement when Spurlock came forward with his own admission of misconduct. We get into that, too, as well as another movie Spurlock made: 2011’s meta look at advertising called “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”