A new film based on the life of Michael Jackson is in the works from Lionsgate and director Antoine Fuqua.
“For me, there is no artist with the power, the charisma, and the sheer musical genius of Michael Jackson,” Fuqua said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
The authorized biopic titled Michael will address all aspects of the late music legend’s life, according to Lionsgate.
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Fuqua, who helmed the films The Equalizer, Emancipation, and the Oscar-winning Training Day, got his start directing music videos.
In his statement, the filmmaker said he was inspired early on by Jackson’s groundbreaking music videos.
“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,” Fuqua said.
Graham King (Bohemian Rhapsody) is set to produce the biopic and John Logan (Skyfall) is writing the script.
The movie has the blessing of Jackson’s estate, so it’s unclear if it will address the child molestation accusations against the singer.
The Grammy-winning performer was accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in 2003, at his Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif. However, he was acquitted of all charges related to the allegations.
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The 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland addressed molestation accusations against Jackson.
The film from BAFTA-winning director Dan Reed centered on interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who said they were befriended and then “sexually abused” by Jackson when they were children. Robson and Safechuck — now adults — alleged the abuse occurred when they were 7 and 10 years old.
Jackson’s estate blasted Leaving Neverland as an “outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on” the music legend.