Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International announced on Tuesday that Universal will serve as the international distributor for the Michael Jackson biopic Michael, starring the pop superstar’s nephew Jaafar Jackson, which we were first to report on. Uni will handle all territories apart from Japan, with Lionsgate repping the film on the domestic front.
Antoine Fuqua will direct the film from a script by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan, with Graham King (Bohemian Rhapsody) producing alongside John Branca and John McClain, the co-executors of the Michael Jackson Estate. Production is set to kick off as soon as the SAG-AFTRA strike resolves.
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Michael promises to give audiences a never-before-told and in-depth portrayal of the complicated man who became the King of Pop. The film will explore all aspects of Jackson’s life, including his most iconic performances that led him to become one of the most beloved entertainers of all time.
Said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chair, Joe Drake, “Michael’s decades-long career left an indelible mark on the way audiences experience entertainment all over the world. We are thrilled to be partnering with our friends at Universal to give global audiences new insight into the complex life of one of the most prolific artists the world has ever known.”
Since his passing on June 25, 2009, aged 50, Jackson’s music has continued to resonate broadly, even as his legacy continues to be wrestled with. The Tony Award-winning hit MJ the Musical, based on his life, continues to play to sold-out crowds on Broadway and with its national touring company across North America, and will open on London’s coveted West End next spring, coming to Hamburg later in the year. The Cirque du Soleil-produced live stage experiences Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour and Michael Jackson ONE hold the titles of the top ten touring show of all time and top Las Vegas attraction, respectively, and Michael Jackson’s This is It remains the highest grossing concert documentary worldwide.
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