Michael Jackson is officially returning to the big screen as Lionsgate and Universal have announced the release date for Antoine Fuqua‘s upcoming biopic ‘Michael.’
The highly anticipated film will mark Fuqua’s directorial debut in the portrayal of the iconic singer.
Michael Jackson’s Biopic Gets A Release Date
Fuqua, who is perhaps most known for directing the ‘Equalizer’ trilogy and 2001’s ‘Training Day,’ was chosen to direct the biopic last year.
Reportedly, the Jackson estate has given their approval for the film that Graham King will co-produce. John Branca and John McClain, the executors of Jackson’s estate, are also on board as producers.
Additionally, Lionsgate has confirmed that Jackson’s nephew, Jaafar Jackson, will play the lead.
John Logan, who had previously worked on blockbuster hits such as ‘Gladiator,’ and ‘Rango,’ wrote the screenplay for ‘Michael.’ Needless to say, it looks as if the biopic has some very talented people determined to tell MJ’s story the right way.
Lionsgate has reportedly set the release date for Fuqua’s biopic for April 18, 2025.
Jackson, who died in June 2009, had faced a major downfall in his reputation due to accusations of child sexual abuse.
The Film Won’t Hold Back
According to Deadline, via Huffington Post, the long-awaited film will “deal squarely with the pedophile accusations” that followed Jackson in his later years.
The late singer was first accused of sexually abusing young boys in the early 90s but consistently denied the allegations up until his death.
In 2019, HBO’s docuseries ‘Leaving Neverland’ highlighted the claims of two accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, stating that MJ had abused them when they were minors.
The documentary reignited the accusations of sexual abuse against him, though the estate of the singer has openly rejected these claims. They refuted the allegations as being false.
Despite the controversies that surrounded Jackson, the legacy he left behind continues to thrive through his dedicated fanbase.
Jackson will join other musical icons such as Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, Elton John, and Elvis Presley, all of whom have biopics made about their lives.
We have yet to see the success of this project compared to other biographical films. But considering the ongoing impact Jackson has on today’s society, one can fairly assume the movie will most likely be a hit.
Not to mention that the 2009 release of Jackson’s posthumous concert film, ‘This Is It,’ made an astounding $260 million at the box office.
Reportedly, ‘Michael’ is commencing production with principal photography starting on January 22. Despite Fuqua’s assurance of presenting a candid portrayal of Jackson, it should be noted that the Jackson family is closely involved with the film.
It begs the question of just how much creative control Fuqua will have in depicting the reality of Jackson’s life – both good and bad.
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