A Michael Jackson Biopic Is Coming and the Estate Authorized Use of the King of Pop's Music

Michael Jackson performs on stage during is “HIStory” world tour concert November 10, 1996 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photo: Phil Walter (Getty Images)

There are two films chronicling Michael Jackson’s life that always seems to cause discussion in the black community: the amazing miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream and whatever Flex Alexander was doing in Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story.

Well, it looks like we’re about to get yet another Michael Jackson biopic, which will likely be the first major dramatized film posthumously chronicling the King of Pop’s life. Producer Graham King (Bohemian Rhapsody) has obtained the rights from Jackson’s estate to make the film and has been given the thumbs-up to use the artist’s music in the film. Oscar-nominated John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator) will be writing the script.

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Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. broke it down:

I’m told that the film isn’t intended to be a sanitized rendering of Jackson’s life. King and Logan worked together on the Martin Scorsese-directed The Aviator, another complex look at the life of a genius. In that film, Howard Hughes was in a race to innovate before his mental illness and germaphobic obsessions overtook him.

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. He became a star as a child and a global icon as an adult, but his childhood was not an easy one, and in adulthood he had to defend himself and paid out settlements over allegations of sexual abuse of child companions who routinely stayed at his house for sleepovers.

Given the $100 million legal tussle between the estate and HBO (because of the controversial documentary Leaving Neverland), I’m sure the sexual abuse allegations won’t be ignored, but I have a feeling the accounts will be from the perspective and approval of Jackson’s estate since they’re officially lending his music to the film.

Though it’s way too early to confirm a release date for this in-development biopic (it hasn’t even been linked to a production studio yet), fans can look forward to the Broadway rendition of Jackson’s life, MJ The Musical, debuting in Summer 2020.

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.