Emancipation and The Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua is set to direct the Michael Jackson biopic from Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King.
Emancipation director Antoine Fuqua will direct a Michael Jackson biopic.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director best known for 2001’s Training Day and The Equalizer film series is set to helm the King of Pop’s life story titled Michael for Lionsgate. The biopic will be produced by Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King alongside John Branca and John McClain, who serve as co-executors of Jackson’s estate. Fuqua will direct from a script by The Aviator screenwriter John Logan.
For Fuqua, bringing Jackson’s story to the screen is a career gone full circle. “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,” Fuqua said. “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.”
Michael Jackson’s Legendary Career
The life of the King of Pop spans five decades starting with humble beginnings in Gary, Indiana where he was the eighth of ten children in the Jackson family. When their father Joseph discovered his children’s musical talents, he put together the iconic group the Jackson Five and moved his family to Los Angeles in the late ’60s where they enjoyed superstardom under Motown Records. As the standout of the group, Michael Jackson would evolve from the group’s beloved lead singer to a superstar solo performer with 1979’s Off the Wall album.
His next album Thriller was released in 1982. More than just another pop album, Thriller revolutionized the music video scene with its unforgettable music videos for the title track along with “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.” It went on to sell a historic 34 million copies in the U.S., 100 million copies worldwide and earned eight Grammy Awards.
With growing success in music and entertainment throughout the ’80s and early ’90s, Jackson faced his share of controversies including alleged inappropriate behavior with children and his constant change in physical appearance. The King of Pop passed in 2009 at the age of 50. While the biopic will cover most of Jackson’s life, it is unknown how it will deal with the controversies.
Director Fuqua’s most recent film Emancipation starring Will Smith was released in December 2020 on AppleTV+ to mixed reviews. He is currently in production on The Equalizer 3 reuniting with Denzel Washington and filming in Italy. The Equalizer 3 is set for release on Sept. 1.
Michael does not have a release date.
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