“This will be super Controversial”: Michael Jackson’s Biopic That Will Try to Prove His Innocence, Filmmakers Expecting Nearly $1 Billion

Controversial biopic on Michael Jackson targets billion-dollar success, while proving his innocence on screen.

After the successful musician biopics such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Elvis, Rocketman, and Straight Outta Compton, now the King of Pop is also getting a biography of his own.

Michael Jackson will be back on screens again in 2025 with Michael, a biopic directed by Antoine Fuqua. The film will be starring the late pop superstar’s nephew Jaafar Jackson in the lead, which will also be his first major role.

First look of Michael (Image via Jaafar Jackson's Instagram) First look of Michael (Image via Jaafar Jackson’s Instagram)

The biopic challenges assumptions and presents evidence of MJ’s innocence, with industry insiders predicting a box office haul of nearly $1 billion for the film.

Michael Jackson Biopic Will Prove His Innocence 

Michael Jackson has been the subject of s*xual assault allegations. The singer’s career was never quite the same after that. As the upcoming film based on him will be arriving in theaters next year, it aims to prove his innocence.

John Branca and John McClain, in charge of his estate, will produce the film. Their role could influence how the movie addresses the accusations of child s*xual abuse against the singer.

Michael Jackson in the music video of Beat itMichael Jackson in the music video of Beat it

In 1993, Jackson faced accusations of s*xually abusing a young boy at Neverland Ranch (via NY Times). These allegations haunted him for the rest of his life, casting a shadow over his reputation.

Until his death in 2009, The Gloved One consistently denied all accusations and was never convicted of any crime. Puck Magazine’s Matt Belloni read the script of Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming biopic, and he said that it won’t give a balanced portrayal of the singer.

Instead, it will praise Jackson and paint him as a victim of a conspiracy involving “greedy parents.” The entertainment journalist added that the script “wants to very much convince you that Michael is innocent” and “goes to great lengths to minimize and downplay,” the controversies.

“If the script as written ends up onscreen—which is a big caveat here because words and scenes are often changed during shoots, and not everything goes in the final cut—this will be super controversial”https://t.co/z02yha6Ng5

— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) March 9, 2024
Belloni also reports that the film cost $155 million to produce, with Universal/Lionsgate hoping for a box office gross nearing $1 billion.

What We Know About Michael So Far?

Michael Jackson in a still from Smooth CriminalMichael Jackson in a still from Smooth Criminal
Produced by Graham King, the producer of Bohemian Rhapsody, and scripted by John Logan, the writer of The Aviator, Michael Jackson‘s film has been in development since 2019.

But the movie gained momentum rapidly when the director came on board. Its filming officially began on January 22, 2024. The synopsis of the movie reads (Variety):

“‘Michael’ will bring audiences a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became the King of Pop. The film presents his triumphs and tragedies on an epic, cinematic scale — from his human side and personal struggles to his undeniable creative genius, exemplified by his most iconic performances. As never before, audiences will experience an inside look into one of the most influential, trailblazing artists the world has ever known.”

As mentioned earlier, Jaafar Jackson, Michael Jackson’s nephew, will portray him as an adult, while Juliano Krue Valdi will portray Jackson as a child in the biopic.

Colman Domingo, who earned his first Academy Award nomination for Rustin, will portray Jackson’s father, Joe Jackson. Other cast members include Nia Long as Katherine Jackson, and Miles Teller as John Branca, one of the Billie Jean star’s attorneys.

Michael is set to premiere on April 18, 2025, which falls on Easter weekend.

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