Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer, Southpaw, Emancipation) is locked in to direct Michael, a biopic of Michael Jackson, at Lionsgate. Skyfall and Gladiator writer John Logan has the script already underway as the movie looks to deliver a:

“…never-before-told and in-depth portrayal of the complicated man who became the King of Pop.”

fuqua
Antoine Fuqua

A press release full of hyperbole says we can expect an exploration of all aspects of Michael’s life. It also refers to him as:

“The greatest entertainer of all time.”

There is an argument there, in pure stats and data. Between Grammys, Billboard Awards, MTV Awards, Brits and pretty much any global measure he won more than anyone else. His 13 number ones in the US alone puts him up there with Elvis and the Beatles.

Bad, Billie Jean, Smooth Criminal, and Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough remain all time classics of pop. His stage shows were legendary and his music videos rivalled Hollywood movies for production values. For years, the introduction of a new Jackson single, with video, was a real music event.

Jackson

And yet, particularly as he aged, controversy would follow him. First it was his changing appearance. Then his lifestyle, increasingly strange behaviours and eventually his relationships, including what was considered an unnatural closeness with children. Accusations were made that were never, in the minds of many, either proved or disproved categorically leaving something of a shadow over his legacy.

In the press release, Joe Drake, chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group s quoted as:

“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.”

How far will it shine a light into the negative things that formed part of the Jackson circus? Producer Graham King is involved and his Bohemian Rhapsody was famous for being something of a whitewashing of certain parts of Freddie Mercury’s life, and rearranging timelines for dramatic effect.

Jackson

John Branca and John McClain who are co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate, and they are also Producers, so there may be some protectionism expected. Filming will begin later this year.

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