A dramatic film about pop star Michael Jackson’s life and career is reportedly in the early stages of development. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Graham King is going to produce the movie and the script will be written by John Logan. King has produced a number of major commercial hits including “Traffic,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed,” “Hugo,” and, most recently, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Freddy Mercury biopic. Logan has penned such movies as “Gladiator,” “The Last Samurai,” and 007 films “Skyfall” and “Spectre.”
The Michael Jackson estate has reportedly granted King the rights to Jackson’s music, raising questions about whether the film will be a whitewash of Jackson’s life. If his estate thought the makers of the film intended to portray Jackson in a negative light, it probably wouldn’t cooperate with them. But time will tell.
“The film will cover his entire life and career, which includes his beginnings with the Jackson Five, a rise to pop superstardom and, later in life, legal struggles with both civil and criminal lawsuits stemming from allegations of child sex abuse. Jackson died in 2009 at age 50,” the Hollywood Reporter writes.
The Jackson estate recently sued HBO following the release of “Leaving Neverland,” a documentary detailing Jackson’s alleged sexual abuse of young boys. The film was protested by Jackson fans and reportedly led to death threats against its two principal witnesses, Wade Robinson and James Safechuck. The two men were part of Jackson’s inner circle when they were children (because that’s not weird at all) and now claim that they were repeatedly assaulted by Jackson, though they had previously testified under oath that Jackson did not sexually abuse them.
“Leaving Neverland” won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.