Graham King, who produced Bohemian Rhapsody, has signed on to produce a new Michael Jackson biopic. According to Variety, the Michael Jackson estate has given its approval for the upcoming film titled Michael. John Logan (Gladiator, Skyfall) is writing the screenplay, and he previously collaborated with King on Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator (2004).
The biopic will be produced by John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate, alongside King, who first met the Jackson family in 1981. Michael will be distributed worldwide by Lionsgate.
“I’m humbled to bring their legacy to the big screen,” King explained. “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.”
Per a press release, “Michael 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.”
The late singer’s mother, Katherine Jackson, said: “Ever since Michael was little, as a member of The Jackson 5, he loved the magic of cinema. As a family, we are honoured to have our life story come alive on the big screen.”
The fact that Jackson’s estate is involved in the production means that the film will not address the allegations of child sexual abuse levelled against the singer during his career and post his death in 2009. James Safechuck and Wade Robson spoke in the four-hour documentary Leaving Neverland in 2019, claiming they were sexually abused by Jackson as minors in the 1990s.
Prior to his death at the age of 50, Michael Jackson denied any misconduct. Graham King was believed to have won the rights to make a film about Jackson’s life and career in November 2019. The film was not “intended to be a sanitised rendering of Jackson’s life,” according to reports at the time.