Michale Jackson's larger than life persona will take center stage in an upcoming biopic for Lifetime.
A day after Sky TV shared a preview of their episode featuring a Michael Jackson character played by white English actor, Joseph Fiennes, they announced the episode was axed. The backlash over choosing a caucasian man to play the king of pop, despite the surface-level skin tone comparisons, was revolting.
Lifetime is now seizing the opportunity for a similar fate. They started work on a biopic titled Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, which "centers on the final years of his life as told through the eyes of his trusted bodyguards," Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, THR reports. Navi, who is dubbed the No. 1 Michael Jackson tribute artist, will play the late legend.
The project hails from exec producer Suzanne de Passe (The Jacksons: An American Dream), who worked with Jackson and the Jackson 5 early in her career as a creative assistant to Motown head Berry Gordy, and is based on the book Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days. De Passe will exec produce with Madison Jones and Robert Teitel (the Barbershop franchise), with Silver Screen (The Craigslist Killer) attached to produce. Elizabeth Hunter (Beauty Shop) wrote the script, and Dianne Houston (Take the Lead, Surviving Compton) is set to direct. Production begins next month in Los Angeles, with the movie set to premiere sometime later this year.
The LA Times reports a scene in-particular Searching for Neverland will include were the extreme measures Whitfield and Beard took to protect Jackson and his family leading up to his “This Is It” London residency.
The MJ flick sounds like it's off to a better start than Lifetime's biopic about Britney Spears titled Britney Ever After (premiering Feb. 18), and after poor reception for projects on Toni Braxton, Aaliyah and Whitney Houston... can't they just let sleeping dogs lie?