It is clear one thing everyone is thinking about is the extraordinary amount of money the Queen film made. It passed $900million at the global box office fuelled by nostalgia and love for the music and the main man, Freddie Mercury. Few other acts have a comparable back catalogue like Jackson, but even fewer also carry such a heavy shadow. A new Hollywood leak confirms the film will not avoid the hugely controversial aspects of Jackson’s life.
Industry site Deadline is reporting the extraordinary news.
Reporter Mike Fleming Jr said: “Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King has secured from the Michael Jackson estate the rights to make a film of the complicated pop icon’s life with access to all of his music, sources say…
“I’m told that the film isn’t intended to be a sanitized rendering of Jackson’s life.”
This project will also be very different from Bohemian Rhapsody is a surprisingly bold way.
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There were strong criticisms that the portrayal of Freddie Mercury’s life somewhat skirted around the more difficult aspects of his life.
It also avoided the darker stage of his life as his illness progressed and AIDS took his life.
The film cuts out on a high with the band reunited to take the stage triumphantly at Live Aid.
The new Michael Jackson biopic will do no such thing.
Deadline added: “In this case, the complexity of Jackson’s life is well known and will not be ignored in a film that will span his entire life, which ended with his tragic death in June 2009 at age 50. “
A film tackling Jackson’s complex life must, therefore, look at his troubling and troubled childhood, with numerous reports of the emotional and physical abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, Joe Jackson.
Even more difficult to bring to the big screen will be the numerous allegations of child abuse and court cases which dogged the final years of the star’s life.
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The recent controversial documentary Leaving Neverland reignited the divisive arguments over Jackson’s guilt or innocence.
James Safechuck and Wade Robson detailed their alleged abuse but other former child friends of Jackson have also categorically denied anything happened.
The arguments continue to rage among fans, friends, family and the media while the two witnesses and the documentary makers have been variously locked in legal battles with the Jackson Estate.
Furthermore, it is inevitable that once the film starts production it will be attacked and any release would also certainly provoke protests.
It is difficult to see how any of these contentious issues could be addressed successfully, or legally, in any film at the current time. Or, indeed, how the film could be promoted.
Meanwhile, Deadline reports the project is gathering steam and that King’s production company GK Films has brought on board the highly respected and three-time Oscar-nominated writer John Logan to make a start on the script.
AS yet, the project has not been optioned by any studio.
ORIGINAL REPORT IN DEADLINE
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