Director Michael Moore partnered with producers Harvey and Bob Weinstein in May 2017 to produce and distribute Fahrenheit 11/9. 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.
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, 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 by Ray Bradbury.