The shooting of Antoine Fuqua’s Michael Jackson biopic is set to commence in Santa Barbara, California, in fall 2023. Titled ‘Michael,’ the film offers an “in-depth portrayal of the complicated man who became the King of Pop and one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived.” “Covering Jackson’s life from his childhood with The Jackson 5, his iconic songs, and his astonishing career as a solo artist, the film will bring to life Jackson’s performances and give an informed insight into the entertainer’s artistic process and personal life,” reveals the logline. As per reports, the film will also “deal squarely” with the pedophile accusations against Jackson.
Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson will play the iconic singer in the biopic. “Proud to announce @jafaarjackson as Michael — the motion picture event that explores the journey of the man who became the King of Pop. Coming soon,” Fuqua revealed in January 2023. A singer himself, Jaafar’s best-known song is “Got Me Singing.”
Fuqua will be joining the production of ‘Michael’ after completing ‘The Equalizer 3,’ starring Denzel Washington. The director’s recent films include ‘Emancipation,’ ‘The Guilty,’ ‘Infinite,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ etc. Before directing ‘Training Day,’ the filmmaker even directed videos for renowned musical icons such as Prince, Lil’ Wayne, Toni Braxton, and Stevie Wonder.
“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,” said 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,” he added.
John Logan, who co-wrote ‘Gladiator,’ ‘Skyfall,’ ‘Spectre,’ etc., penned the screenplay of the film. His other credits include ‘The Aviator,’ ‘Star Trek: Nemesis,’ ‘Hugo,’ ‘Alien: Covenant,’ ‘They/Them,’ etc. Three time-Academy Award winner Robert Richardson will serve as the DOP of the film. ‘Michael’ will be Fuqua and Richardson’s third collaboration after ‘Emancipation’ and ‘The Equalizer 3.’
Graham King, who co-produced ‘The Departed,’ ‘The Aviator,’ ‘Hugo,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ etc., produces the film. As per sources, the biopic has been a “passion project” for both Logan and King. “Antoine’s films provide personal perspectives of larger-than-life characters that continuously captivate global audiences. 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 said in a statement about Fuqua joining the film as the director.
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