The film will be directed by Antoine Fuqua, whose credits include Training Day, and will be in collaboration with the singer’s estate.
A film depicting the life of Michael Jackson, which has been in development for a significant amount of time, is scheduled to begin production this year.
The upcoming film, titled “Michael,” will be helmed by director Antoine Fuqua, known for his work on movies such as “Training Day,” “The Equalizer,” and the recent thriller “Emancipation” centered around slavery. The screenplay for the film will be written by John Logan, a three-time Oscar nominee renowned for his work on films like “Gladiator” and “Skyfall.”
The production of “Michael” will be a collaboration between the late singer’s estate, represented by co-executors John Branca and John McClain, and the film’s producers, including Graham King, who has previously been involved in the successful adaptation of “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the big screen.
Fuqua said, “When I started making films, I first worked on music videos. I still believe that combining film and music is a big part of who I am. For me, Michael Jackson is the most powerful, charming, and incredibly talented musician. Watching his work influenced me to make music videos. He was the first Black artist to be shown a lot on MTV. His music and videos have shaped how I see things, and I couldn’t resist the chance to tell his story on the screen with his music.”
Lionsgate, the studio behind the film, has stated that “Michael” will explore all aspects of Jackson’s life, while sources suggest that it will also address the more challenging and controversial aspects. This comes in the aftermath of the HBO docuseries “Leaving Neverland” that aired in 2019, which contained allegations of sexual abuse against children by Jackson. The singer’s estate denounced the docuseries, considering it a form of “tabloid character assassination” and maintained Jackson’s innocence.
“Michael” serves as a continuation of the Broadway musical “MJ,” which achieved commercial success by grossing over $83 million. However, the musical received mixed reviews. Adrian Horton from The Guardian described it as “mesmerizing” but also acknowledged that it left a sense of discomfort.
The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody achieved tremendous success, earning $910 million globally. In contrast, the Elvis Presley biopic, simply titled Elvis, generated $287 million in 2022. However, the Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody faced challenges and garnered less than $50 million since its release last month. Looking ahead, there are upcoming music biopics centered around Amy Winehouse and Leonard Bernstein that are scheduled for release later this year.