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Lionsgate will team with Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King and his GK Films on Michael, a Michael Jackson biopic, the studio announced Monday.
Lionsgate picked up the worldwide rights to the film also produced by the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate, John Branca and John McClain, which will allow the project access to Jackson’s music. John Logan will write the screenplay for Michael after he and King previously collaborated on Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. Logan also wrote Ridley Scott’s best picture winner Gladiator.
King’s biopic in collaboration with Jackson’s estate and Logan was first unveiled in 2019, but had yet to attach a studio until the arrival of Lionsgate. Michael promises an “in-depth portrayal of the complicated man who became the King of Pop. It will bring to life Jackson’s most iconic performances as it gives an informed insight into the entertainer’s artistic process and personal life.”
The film will cover Jackson’s beginnings with the Jackson Five, his rise to pop superstardom and his legal struggles with both civil and criminal lawsuits stemming from allegations of child sex abuse. Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50.
Joe Drake, chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement, “I am very excited that Lionsgate will be part of this epic film, and thrilled to be working with Graham, who has proven success in telling iconic life stories, from Bohemian Rhapsody to Ali; when combined with John, we couldn’t be in more extraordinary hands.”
Logan’s other film credits include Skyfall, Hugo, The Last Samurai, Any Given Sunday and Sweeney Todd. He won a Tony for his play Red and wrote the book for the best musical Tony winner Moulin Rouge!
King’s film credits include The Departed, The Unforgivable, Ali and Argo, and he is currently developing the story of the Bee Gees for the big screen.
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