Michael Jackson biopic slammed by Leaving Neverland director
Martin Macdonald - 25 May 2023, 13:21 Share
Dan Reed, the director of documentary Leaving Neverland, has criticised the reaction to the announcement of the new Michael Jackson biopic.
The pop superstar is recognised as one of the best and most influential artists of all time, but his entire life has been marred by controversy. Over the past decade, several men have come forward with allegations that Jackson sexually assaulted them as boys.
Leaving Neverland focused on the allegations by two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
It is those allegations that led many to believe that a tell-all biopic might not happen, but a Lionsgate press release confirmed that the movie will address "all aspects" of Jackson's life, while Antoine Fuqua was also announced as the director.
Reed believes there should be widespread condemnation of the announced biopic.
“No one is talking about 'cancelling' this movie, which will glorify a man who raped children," he told The Guardian.
“What the total absence of outrage accompanying the announcement of this movie tells us is that Jackson’s seduction is still a living force, operating from beyond the grave. It seems that the press, his fans and the vast older demographic who grew up loving Jackson are willing to set aside his unhealthy relationship with children and just go along with the music."
Jackson's nephew will play him
The upcoming biopic about Jackson has found its star in the form of his very own nephew.
Jaafar Jackson took to Instagram to comment on the news, while he uploaded a picture of himself dancing in rehearsal.
"I'm humbled and honoured to bring my Uncle Michael's story to life. To all the fans all over the world, I'll see you soon," he wrote.
Fuque believes that Jaafar is the perfect choice to play Michael.
"It's incredibly exciting to watch Jaafar bring Michael to life," the director commented.
"There was such a spiritual connection when I first met Jaafar, who has a natural ability to emulate Michael and such a great chemistry with the camera."
Jaafar is the son of Michael's brother, Jermaine.