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Lionsgate Buys Michael Jackson Biopic Coming from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Producer and Singer’s Estate

The Lionsgate film will be written by "The Aviator" scribe John Logan.

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 1988 file photo, Michael Jackson performs during his 13-city U.S. tour in Kansas City, Mo. The estate of Michael Jackson has landed the late King of Pop the biggest recording deal in history: a $200 million guaranteed contract with Sony Music Entertainment for 10 projects over seven years, according to a person familiar with the deal.  (AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa, File)

Michael Jackson

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lionsgate is teaming with Academy Award–winning producer Graham King (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) on “Michael,” the first big-screen Michael Jackson biopic, for worldwide distribution. The film will be produced by King as well as co-executors of Michael Jackson’s estate, John Branca and John McClain.

The screenplay comes from three-time Oscar nominee John Logan. King and Logan previously collaborated on Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator.” Logan also wrote Ridley Scott’s Best Picture winner “Gladiator.”

The movie promises to give audiences an inside portrait of the complex man who became the “King of Pop,” utilizing his most iconic songs and performances as a window into his artistic process and personal life. It is not known if the film will confront the child sexual abuse allegations that plagued the last half of his life (he died in 2009) and were most recently revisited in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland.”

Lionsgate motion picture chair 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.”

“I first met the Jackson family in 1981 and I’m humbled to bring their legacy to the big screen,” said King. “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.”

“Ever since Michael was little, as a member of The Jackson 5, he loved the magic of cinema,” said Katherine Jackson. “As a family, we are honored to have our life story come alive on the big screen.”

Jackson’s legacy is currently being explored on stage in the musical “MJ the Musical” on Broadway, which was also made in collaboration with Jackson’s estate and centers on the lead-up to the 1992 Dangerous World Tour.

Grahm King’s films have been nominated for 71 Academy Awards. He received an Academy Award nomination for producing “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the surprise winner of four Academy Awards including Best Actor (Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury) and Editing. King won the Oscar for “The Departed,” and most recently produced Sandra Bullock’s Netflix title “The Unforgivable.” Meantime, he is currently developing the story of the Bee Gees for the big screen.

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