Michael Jackson’s life is coming to the big screen. A Jackson biopic is reportedly in the works from the producer of Bohemian Rhapsody, according to Deadline. Jackson’s family has given producer Graham King access to all of the controversial late pop star’s music for the film. However, despite the Jackson family’s cooperation, Deadline reports that the film “isn’t intended to be a sanitized rendering of Jackson’s life.”
The Jackson biopic is set to cover his early days with the Jackson Five and his later legal struggles brought on by multiple sexual abuse allegations, which first surfaced in 1993 and were brought to trial in 2005, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Logan’s representative would not confirm whether his script would include Jackson’s accusers, per Variety. Deadline points to King and the film’s writer John Logan’s previous work together on The Aviator as a possible sign that this authorised biopic will actually reckon with the child sex abuse allegations. The 2004 Howard Hughes biopic did not stray from the more controversial aspects of the aviation pioneer and Hollywood tycoon’s life including his eccentric behaviour, some of which was brought on by obsessive-compulsive disorder.
However, Jackson’s life is far more controversial than Hughes’ was. Jackson has been accused of abusing young men who he invited to his Neverland Ranch in California, including James Safechuck and choreographer Wade Robson. The details of Safechuck and Robson’s molestation allegations were laid out in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.
Jackson’s family has continued to deny the allegations, pointing to the 2005 case in which Jackson was found innocent. In a statement ahead of Leaving Neverland’s release they claimed, “Michael Jackson was and always will be 100% innocent of these false allegations." They are currently embroiled in a $100 million lawsuit with HBO over the documentary.
There is no word on who will play Jackson in this film or when it will be released. As of now, the biopic has not been picked up by a studio. Along with this movie, Jackson’s life is also being turned into a Broadway musical, which is set to open next summer.