Michael Jackson biopic in development
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A Michael Jackson biopic is in the works from director Antonie Fuqua. Graham King, who worked on the Oscar-winning Freddie Mercury film ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, is producing the biopic along with John Branca and John McClain – the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate.
John Logan, who has penned ‘Gladiator’ and ‘The Aviator’, is writing the script.
Michael rose from child stardom in the Jackson 5 to become the biggest pop star on the planet before his tragic death at the age of 50 in 2009.
Lionsgate says that the movie will address “all aspects” of the music icon’s life, although it is unclear how it will deal with the many controversies surrounding Jackson as the star’s estate has defended him against allegations of sexually abusing children.
In a statement, Fuqua said: “The first films of my career were music videos, and I still feel that combining film and music are a deep part of who I am.
“For me, there is no artist with the power, the charisma, and the sheer musical genius of Michael Jackson. I was influenced to make music videos by watching his work – the first Black artist to play in heavy rotation on MTV.”His music and those images are part of my worldview, and the chance to tell his story on the screen alongside his music was irresistible.”
Music biopics have proven successful in recent years with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ earning $910 million at the global box office and Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ helping to lure older audiences back to the cinema following the pandemic after it was released last year.
Fuqua recently directed the Will Smith movie ‘Emancipation’ and is currently filming ‘The Equalizer 3’ with Denzel Washington. His other credits include ‘Training Day’ and ‘Olympus Has Fallen’.
“Antoine is a perceptive and powerful filmmaker, and we feel very fortunate that he has chosen Michael as his next project. His visionary storytelling skills and commitment to his craft will make Michael an unforgettable film,” said Joe Drake, chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.
“Antoine’s films provide personal perspectives of larger-than-life characters that continuously captivate global audiences. I’m confident that Antoine will make an exceptional and compelling film that will both celebrate and give profound new insights into the life of the King of Pop.”