The King of Pop will be coming to a theater near you. It's come to light that producer Graham King, who recently worked on the hit Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, has secured the rights to produce a Michael Jackson biopic. This comes at a time when Jackson, one of the most successful recording artists in history, is having his legacy re-examined, which could make this both timely and tricky to execute.
According to a new report, Graham King has cut a deal with the Michael Jackson estate to produce a movie based on the Thriller singer's life. This includes access to all of his music, which will be key. Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, Skyfall) has been tapped by King's GK Films production company to pen the screenplay. King and Logan haven't yet partnered with a major studio on the project yet and it sounds like it's in the very early stages. The indication is that they will develop the project first, then shop it around to major studios.
Graham King and John Logan had success working together on a high-profile biopic together in the past, as they collaborated on Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, which took a look at the life of Howard Hughes. How, precisely, they intend to tackle the life of Michael Jackson remains to be seen, but it's said they aren't looking to sanitize things. Jackson, aside from selling 350 million albums worldwide and winning 15 Grammy Awards, also had a troubled childhood, as he was physically beaten by his father.
Michael Jackson also faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse later in his life, and his various relationships with young boys were called into question. Much of this was documented in this year's two-part documentary Leaving Neverland, which took an in-depth look at Jackson's relationship with two young men. The content of the documentary forced many to re-evaluate the way the looked at Jackson. The late musician's estate is now involved in a $100 million lawsuit over the documentary. Jackson passed away at the age of 50 in 2009.
Assuming the filmmakers don't shy away from the uglier parts of Michael Jackson's life, it's hard to deny that the musician had a truly massive impact on pop culture. It's probably a story worth telling. But if certain things are glorified, while others are glossed over, that could become problematic in a hurry. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Some of John Logan's other credits include Rango, Hugo, The Last Samurai and Alien: Covenant. Bohemian Rhapsody, which starred Rami Malek as the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, went on to become one of the biggest hits of 2018, grossing $903 million at the global box office. With that in mind, it's easy to see why Graham King would see a Michael Jackson biopic as a possible winner. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.