MICHAEL JACKSON biopic under fire as Leaving Neverland director calls script draft 'startlingly disingenuous'

Thursday, March 14, 2024
 – Leaving Neverland director, Dan Reed has described the script for the upcoming Michael Jackson biopic, titled Michael, as 'startlingly disingenuous.'

After reading a draft for Michael, the British filmmaker, whose two-part documentary explored allegations of sexual abuse against the King of Pop, expressed outrage over how the movie discredited Wade Robson and James Safechuck 'contention that Jackson was a pedophile,' according to Variety.

'Jackson is only ever seen caring for children with childhood cancer, or dancing with a little girl in a wheelchair, or tucking up multiple little boys, mostly his nephews, at sleepovers,' Reed told the outlet. 'It feels like the creators of the movie have been stuck in a room with John Branca and just told what to write.'

He continued: 'It feels like the creators of the movie have been stuck in a room with John Branca and just told what to write.'

Branca, who was Jackson's attorney throughout his career, will be played by Miles Teller, alongside Jackson's nephew Jaafar Jackson as the Thriller hitmaker, Colman Domingo as Jackson's father, Joe, and Nia Long as Jackson's mother, Katherine.

Michael is slated for an April 18, 2025 theatrical release in the United States, according to Deadline, while Universal handles overseas distribution.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua with a screenplay written by John Logan, the biographical musical drama follows the life and four-decade career of Michael Jackson, who was one of eight Jackson children, five of which comprised the original pop sensation, the Jackson 5.

Logan, 62, has a long proven track record as a playwright and filmmaker, writing or co-writing the likes of Gladiator (2000), The Aviator (2004), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (2007), Hugo (2011) and the James Bond 007 films Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).

According to Lionsgate, the film will delve into all aspects of Michael's life, although it's unknown how or if the more scandalous controversies of his life, including allegations of child sexual abuse, will be addressed, considering the fact that the biopic is being made in conjunction with the singer's estate.

'Michael will bring audiences a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became the King of Pop, the official synopsis reads.

'The film presents his triumphs and tragedies on an epic, cinematic scale — from his human side and personal struggles to his undeniable creative genius, exemplified by his most iconic performances.

'As never before, audiences will experience an inside look into one of the most influential, trailblazing artists the world has ever known.'

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