A new Michael Jackson biopic is in the works at Lionsgate, but don’t hold your breath for a Leaving Neverland–type exposé. Produced by Graham King, the man behind the white-washed Freddie Mercury film Bohemian Rhapsody, Michael is made with the blessing of Jackson’s family, and shouldn’t be expected to take down much more than the box office.
Michael is written by John Logan, known for such films as Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator and Hugo and Sam Mendes’ Skyfall. John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate, will produce the film alongside King, who told Deadline he’s known the Jackson family for several decades.
“I first met the Jackson family in 1981 and I’m humbled to bring their legacy to the big screen,” King said. “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.”
According to Deadline, Michael will be “an in-depth portrayal of a complicated man,” and is set to focus on Jackson’s “most iconic performances as it gives an informed insight into the entertainer’s artistic process and personal life.” Given King’s close relationship with the “complicated man” himself, it’s unlikely the film will delve very far into the accusations of child abuse that occurred in his personal life. If Bohemian Rhapsody taught us anything, it’s that it’s probably easier to make $900 million when you pretend that famous musicians don’t have sexual desires. No word on if the film will discuss Jackson’s alleged ghost marriage, though.
Janet Jackson recently received a film of her own with the Lifetime/A&E documentary Janet, in which she recalled that Michael used to bully her for her weight.