The producer of Bohemian Rhapsody has been given the green light to do a biopic on Michael Jackson.
According to Complex, Graham King, who previously produced the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, has obtained the rights from Jackson’s estate to make a movie about the singer and the HBO Leaving Neverland documentary.
Leaving Neverland was directed by British filmmaker Dan Reed, and was about two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege that Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children. Jackson’s estate was upset over the documentary and filed a lawsuit. According to Vanity Fair, a federal judge issued a tentative ruling in September, which allowed the estate to take HBO to arbitration over the docuseries. The Jackson estate sued for roughly $100 million back in February.
Deadline has reported that John Logan (Gladiator, Sweeney Todd, and more) will write the script. However, a studio is net yet attached to the project. The outlet also reports that the untitled biopic will not be a “sanitized” version of Jackson’s story. Instead, it will cover “his entire life.”
Logan and King have worked in tandem before on the Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator.
On another note, the Michael Jackson Broadway play, MJ The Musical, has found it’s lead actor. According to The Root, Ephraim Sykes will portray MJ in the musical, which will premiere on The Great White Way next summer. Sykes announced the role on Instagram. “My ACTUAL wildest dream is coming true. All I can say is thank you Lord,” he wrote. “I’ll do my best to honor the man who made me wanna sing and dance in the first place. Love you MJ, love y’all!”
The play was previously titled Don’t Stop ’Till You Get Enough, after one of Jackson’s hits.
MJ The Musical will start preview performances at NYC’s Neil Simon Theatre on July 6, 2020.