What To Know About Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, The Lesser Known Sequel

Morgan Spurlock, the creator of the documentary "Super Size Me," which made waves in the food and filmmaking world upon its release in 2004, passed away on May 23, 2024. The documentary tracked the filmmaker's journey consuming only McDonald's every day for one month, creating a widespread conversation that earned Spurlock and the documentary an Academy Award nomination. But "Super Size Me" had a companion sequel that tackled similar topics within the fast-food industry.

After the success of "Super Size Me," more opportunities appeared for the filmmaker, leading Spurlock to join CNN for a new original series and even create his own production company called Warrior Poets. That company then created the sequel "Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!" The sequel investigates the chicken sandwich industry as Spurlock attempts to open his own fast food restaurant, placing the focus this time on "big chicken's" impact as opposed to McDonald's. Spurlock confronts how the fast food industry made efforts to transform its reputation, challenging how many establishments began marketing their food as healthy and all-natural in an effort to give their brand image a facelift, blinding consumers once more.

Spurlock's all-in approach to making the Super Size Me sequel

Part of the conceit of "Super Size Me" was the immersive approach Spurlock took to prove his point: That fast food is doing more harm to your body than good. But for the sequel, Spurlock decided he had to go even further in an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" experiment. With Spurlock opening his own fast-food chicken restaurant and documenting the process, he could take a deep dive into the industry by unraveling the ins and outs of how the food, specifically chicken, gets from the farm to the drive-thru.

Throughout the journey, Spurlock uncovers how expensive it is to make his chickens truly organic while exposing many corporations' slimy purposes of using health-forward terms like "free-range" and "natural" to describe their food — and unveiling how these terms may not have that much weight behind them after all. He also puts the spotlight on chicken farmers exploited by the "big chicken" industry, exposing the facade certain companies often put up to protect their image.

The long journey of bringing Super Size Me 2 to the screen

Spurlock opened his 4-day fast food chicken pop-up restaurant in Ohio in 2016. But the film had a bit of a longer journey before it would make it to the viewers' eyes. The film was initially screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017, and soon after, YouTube purchased the rights to the film for distribution. However, amidst the #MeToo movement later that same year, Spurlock made a lengthy blog post confessing to a history of sexual harassment and assault incidents, exposing himself and owning up to past wrongdoings.

This confessional blog post led to YouTube pulling their funding, leaving the sequel with no distribution home. A premiere at the Sundance Film Festival was also pulled. It would take years, until 2019, for "Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!" to make it to theaters, released eventually by Samuel Goldwyn Films. Upon Spurlock's passing days after the Super Size Me anniversary, you can find the sequel on multiple streaming platforms if you're interested in Spurlock's unraveling and exposé on the "big chicken" industry.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).