'Super Size Me' Documentary Director Morgan Spurlock Dead at 53

The 2004 doc, which ultimately scored an Oscar nom, took aim at the fast food industry.

Man with short hair and a beard wearing a striped shirt and a dark blazer against a plain background
Image via Getty/Neilson Barnard/DIFF
Man with short hair and a beard wearing a striped shirt and a dark blazer against a plain background

Morgan Spurlock has died due to complications from cancer.

Per a report from the Associated Press, Spurlock, whose 2004 documentary Super Size Me was nominated for an Oscar, died on Thursday. He was 53.

"It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan," Craig Spurlock said in a statement shared Friday. "Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas, and generosity. The world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I am so proud to have worked together with him."

Super Size Me, written and directed by Spurlock, followed the filmmaker on a 30-day journey of eating McDonald’s for every meal. The film was inescapable in the mid-2000s, with its impact helping inform a more critical view of the fast food industry at large. While Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski’s Born Into Brothels ultimately won Best Documentary Feature at the 2005 Academy Awards, Spurlock’s film took home a Writers Guild of America award that same year.

View this video on YouTube

The final doc Spurlock released prior to his death was a sequel to Super Size Me, with the filmmaker this time turning his attention on how many of the issues he highlighted in the first doc remained a cause for concern more than a decade later, despite purported health-oriented pushes from major brands. Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! garnered strong reviews, although its release plans were scaled back after Spurlock shared a detailed statement in December 2017 explaining why he felt that he was "part of the problem" amid coverage of the then-new Me Too movement.

In the same statement, Spurlock also revealed that he hadn't been sober "for more than a week in 30 years," adding that, in coming forward, he aimed to also be "part of the solution" moving forward.

View this video on YouTube

Super Size Me 2 ultimately received a wider release in 2019. Spurlock's feature-length catalog also includes the timely 2008 doc Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?, the ad world-mocking 2011 title The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, the hit One Direction concert doc This Is Us, and more. Spurlock also helmed a number of TV projects including 30 Days for FX, A Day in the Life for Hulu, and Inside Man for CNN.


Latest in Pop Culture