Antoine Fuqua Boards ‘Michael’, A new Michael Jackson Biopic
The movie aims to document the controversial music megastar’s rise to fame and complicated personal issues, both in his young and adult life.
When Antoine Fuqua took on directing ‘ Emancipation ’ a couple of years ago, he probably imagined a film that could attract awards attention while sensitively but honestly tackling a difficult subject.
That movie’s release was thrown into chaos when star Will Smith marched on to the stage at the Oscars last year and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian and actor joked about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith .
So you might imagine that Fuqua––who has since moved onto ‘ The Equalizer 3 ’––would look to avoid controversy in future films. Yet today, Deadline reports that Fuqua will direct Michael Jackson biopic ‘ Michael ’ for producer Graham King and writer John Logan .
Jackson surely needs little introduction. Raised along with his singer siblings by domineering father Joe Jackson , the Indiana native first rose to fame performing with his family as The Jackson 5.
Even beyond the likes of sister Janet , Michael rose to become a huge star, famous for hit songs and dance moves such as the Moonwalk. His videos boasted expensive production values (and directors such as John Landis ) and he amassed a huge fortune.
Yet his life was also marked by chaotic decisions, a serious injury plastic surgery on the set of a Pepsi commercial in 1984 that led to him starting to take painkillers, and pedophile accusations that dogged his later years up to his death in 2009 at age 50, from cardiac arrest caused by a cocktail of sedatives.
“The first films of my career were music videos, and I still feel that combining film and music are a deep part of who I am,” says Fuqua in a statement. “For me, there is no artist with the power, the charisma, and the sheer musical genius of Michael Jackson. I was influenced to make music videos by watching his work––the first Black artist to play in heavy rotation on MTV. His music and those images are part of my worldview, and the chance to tell his story on the screen alongside his music was irresistible.”
“Antoine’s films provide personal perspectives of larger–than–life characters that continuously captivate global audiences,” adds King. “I’m confident that Antoine will make an exceptional and compelling film that will both celebrate and give profound new insights into the life of the King of Pop.”
King and Logan have been trying to put this one together for a few years now, looking to score the same level of success that ‘ Bohemian Rhapsody ’ enjoyed, even though this promises to generate plenty of controversy, especially given the lawsuits and molestation accusations that swirled around the singer’s later life.
Given that filming is planned for later this year, the search is surely already on for an actor––or actors, if it aims to cover his life––to play Jackson. Fuqua has recruited regular collaborator, cinematographer Robert Richardson to work on this one.
Lionsgate is backing the movie, but there’s naturally no word yet on when it might arrive on screens. ‘The Equalizer 3’, meanwhile, will be in theaters on September 1st.
An in-depth portrayal of Michael Jackson, a complicated man, who became the King of Pop. The biopic will bring to life Jackson’s most iconic performances as it... Read the Plot