The Graham King-produced Michael Jackson biopic project, which is being made with the blessing of the pop legend’s estate, is seeing its worldwide distribution rights snapped up by Lionsgate.
Deadline first told you about the project, penned by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan, back in November 2019. Michael still is moving forward with Logan’s script.
Oscar-winning The Departed producer King will produce with John Branca and John McClain, the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate. King and Logan previously collaborated on Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. Logan also wrote Ridley Scott’s Best Picture Oscar winner Gladiator.
Michael is set to be an in-depth portrayal of a 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.
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chair Joe Drake said: “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.”
Added King: “I first met the Jackson family in 1981 and I’m humbled to bring their legacy to the big screen. Sitting at Dodger Stadium watching the Victory Tour, I could never have imagined that nearly 38 years later I would get the privilege to be a part of this film.”
Said Katherine Jackson. “Ever since Michael was little, as a member of The Jackson 5, he loved the magic of cinema. As a family, we are honored to have our life story come alive on the big screen.”
Jackson is one of the biggest-selling artist of all time, with an estimated sales of 400 million records around the globe. He counts 13 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 singles, more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era, and was the first artist to have a top-10 single on that chart in five different decades. His honors include 15 Grammy wins, 6 Brit Awards, a Golden Globe and 39 Guinness World Records including Most Successful Entertainer of All Time. His inductions include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (twice), the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Dance Hall of Fame (the only recording artist to be inducted) and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.
King’s cinematic canon counts 71 Oscar nominations. He received a Best Picture Oscar nomination for producing Bohemian Rhapsody, which minted $911M at the global box office and notched star Rami Malek an Oscar for his turn as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. King recently produced Sandra Bullock’s The Unforgivable, which became one of the top-viewed films on Netflix. His passion for telling real-life stories has resulted in several critically and commercially successful films, including Ali, Argo and The Aviator, among many others. He is currently developing the story of the Bee Gees for the big screen at Paramount.
In addition to his Oscar-nominated work, Logan’s other movies include Skyfall, Hugo, The Last Samurai, Any Given Sunday and Sweeney Todd. He won the Tony for his play Red and wrote the book for the Best Musical Tony winner Moulin Rouge. He is represented by CAA.
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