Michael Jackson Biopic in Works with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Producer

Lionsgate has signed on as the worldwide distributor of an upcoming Michael Jackson biopic, produced by Graham King, who developed the Oscar-winning 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody, centered around the life of Queen singer Freddie Mercury, and the producer’s GK Films.

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In cooperation with the co-executors of Jackson’s estate, John Branca and John McClain, the screenplay for Michael will be written by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Any Given Sunday, Skyfall, Sweeney Todd), who previously worked with King on Martin Scorsese 2004 film The Aviator.

“I first met the Jackson family in 1981 and I’m humbled to bring their legacy to the big screen,” said King in a statement. “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.”

Jackson’s life and music recently inspired a Broadway show, MJ, centered around the King of Pop’s 1992 Dangerous World Tour.

Michael, according to a release on the film, will “give audiences an in-depth portrayal of the complicated man who became the King of Pop. It will bring to life Jackson’s most iconic performances as it gives an informed insight into the entertainer’s artistic process and personal life.”

Working along with the estate, the film will cover Jackson’s early beginnings with The Jackson 5, his rise as the “King of Pop,” and mine the multiple allegations of child sexual abuse brought against the artist during his career, and leading up to his death in 2009 at the age of 50. Jackson denied the allegations and settled with an accuser, and was later found not guilty on all accounts during a 2003 child molestation trial. 

King, whose credits also include the films The Unforgivable Ali, The Departed, and Argo, is keeping the momentum of musical biopics, following the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, and is currently developing the story of the Bee Gees for the big screen.

“Ever since Michael was little, as a member of The Jackson 5, he loved the magic of cinema,” said Katherine Jackson, Michael’s mother, in a statement. “As a family, we are honored to have our life story come alive on the big screen.”

Photo: Courtesy of MJJ Productions, Inc.

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