Director Michael Moore partnered with producers Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein in May 2017 to produce and distribute Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018). The Weinsteins planned to fund $2 million out of $6 million in a documentary deal. The Weinsteins did not provide the funding, and the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations emerged in the following October. As a result, Moore laid off the crew and shut down development of the documentary. Before returning to Fahrenheit 11/9, Moore focused on putting on a Broadway show, The Terms of My Surrender, which ran for 12 weeks.

The title is a play on Michael Moore's other film, Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), about the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It is also a reference to the fact that Donald Trump was projected to be the next President of the United States at 2:29 am on November 9, 2016.

Michael Moore previewed a scene of himself showing up at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2015) in July 2018 while he was still editing the documentary. However, the scene does not appear in the released film.

The film had its world premiere on September 6, 2018 at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Moore also screened Fahrenheit 11/9 in his hometown of Flint, Michigan on September 10.

The film's title relies on U.S. date notation to refer to November 9, when Trump's 2016 presidential win was announced (the election took place the day prior). The title simultaneously serves as a callback to Moore's 2004 political documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) which refers to the date of the September 11 attacks in the United States. Both of Moore's documentary titles are an allusion to the 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1966) by Ray Bradbury.

Donald Trump won the Razzie Awards for Worst Actor and Worst Screen Combo for this film and Death of a Nation (2018), making him the third incumbent U.S. President to win a Razzie, after Ronald Reagan (Worst Career Achievement Award in 1981) and George W. Bush (Worst Actor and Worst Screen Combo for Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)).