Michael Jackson Movie On The Way From ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Producer
— Updated on 2 February 2023

Michael Jackson Movie On The Way From ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Producer

— Updated on 2 February 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

For better or worse, there’s no shortage of documentaries about Michael Jackson, although it’s rather surprising to realise the King of Pop’s lifetime hasn’t received the biopic treatment. Until now. Multiple reports have officially confirmed a feature-length Michael Jackson movie is currently underway from Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King in collaboration with the late music icon’s estate, which will eventually be distributed by Lionsgate.

Entitled Michael, the forthcoming film will, “give audiences an in-depth portrayal of the complicated man who became the King of Pop. It will bring to life Jackson’s most iconic performances as it gives an informed insight into the entertainer’s artistic process and personal life.” Hopefully, this encompasses everything from his legendary rivalry with Prince to that time he acquired Eminem’s music rights for $515 million as a means of putting the rapper back in his place. A director and cast members have yet to be announced, but we do know the screenplay has been accomplished by John Logan – the writer behind Gladiator, The Last Samurai, The Aviator, Skyfall, and Spectre.

“Ever since Michael was little, as a member of The Jackson 5, he loved the magic of cinema,” says family matriarch Katherine Jackson in the issued press release.

“As a family, we are honoured to have our life story come alive on the big screen.”

RELATED: The Petty Reason Michael Jackson Bought The Rights To Eminem’s Music For $515 Million

“I am very excited that Lionsgate will be part of this epic film, and thrilled to be working with [Graham King], who has proven success in telling iconic life stories from Bohemian Rhapsody to Ali,” says Joe Drake from Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

“When combined with [John Jogan], we couldn’t be in more extraordinary hands.”

“I first met the Jackson family in 1981 and I’m humbled to bring their legacy to the big screen,” adds Graham King.

“Sitting at Dodger Stadium watching the Victory Tour, I could never have imagined that nearly 38 years later I would get the privilege to be a part of this film.”

As rightly noted by Variety, given the Jackson family’s active involvement in the project, we shouldn’t be surprised if the film downplays the multiple allegations of child sex abuse fired at MJ towards the end. Or perhaps they’ll find a way to omit it entirely like the recent Broadway production MJ. Michael Jackson was, of course, tried for child molestation in 2003 but eventually found not guilty on all counts; maintaining his innocence right until his untimely death circa 2009 at age 50.

A fresh(er) batch of allegations was brought to public attention in 2019 by the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, namely from choreographer Wade Robson and former child actor James Safechuck (both of whom had documented relationships with Michael Jackson since childhood). It did, however, spark widespread debate questioning whether this was the bare-faced truth or “tabloid character assassination.”

In any case, enlisting Graham King makes more and more sense, considering how he negotiated a partially-sanitised version of Freddie Mercury’s life story with Bohemian Rhapsody at the behest of the surviving Queen members. As harsh as it may be to say, this is the bloke who robbed us of an R-rated flick directed by David fucking Fincher and starring Sacha Baron Cohen (not that we have anything against our boy Rami Malek). And for that, Graham’s in the doghouse.

RELATED: Sacha Baron Cohen Was A “Spectacular” Freddie Mercury In Unmade Biopic, Says David Fincher

Our only solace is that John Logan is on the job. Assuming he refused to pull any punches like he did for Martin Scorsese’s take on the life of industrialist Howard Hughes (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio), this Michael Jackson movie might still pack some heat. Still, it’s a long way between that spicy first draft and the final theatrical cut.

In terms of when we can expect to see Michael on the big screen, according to Scott Mendelson of Forbes:

If Lionsgate and friends put the pedal to the medal, they can theoretically have Michael ready to open theatrically on the week of August 28th of 2023, which would have been Michael Jackson’s 65th birthday. Or they could slow-roll it and open on June 23rd of 2024, which would be two days shy of the 15th anniversary of his death. If that sounds cynical, well, it is. I’m curious who steps up to play the title role and who ends up in the director’s chair. In terms of smaller-scale filmmakers who deserve a crack at a big studio programmer, I hereby nominate J. D. Dillard. 

We’ll update you on Lionsgate’s Michael Jackson movie as the news comes (casting, release date, trailer).

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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