Michael Jackson Biopic in the Works by Training Day director Antoine Fuqua

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Michael Jackson, Antoine Fuqua

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Director Antoine Fuqua takes on Michael Jackson’s life in his next film project.

On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Fuqua, 56 and Lionsgate are teaming up to produce a biopic to be titled Michaelas the Training day director said in a statement that “combining film and music is a deep part of who I am” as he embarks on directing the film.

“The first movies of my career were music videos, and I still feel that combining film and music is a deep part of who I am,” Fuqua said in a statement obtained by THR on Wednesday. “To me there is no artist with the power, charisma and sheer musical genius of Michael Jackson.”

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“I was influenced to make music videos by watching his work – the first black artist to play heavily on MTV,” the director continued in the statement.

“His music and those images are part of my worldview, and the chance to tell his story on screen alongside his music was irresistible,” he added.

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Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

John T Barr/Getty Michael Jackson

Lionsgate has said the upcoming biopic will “cover all aspects of Jackson’s life,” according to Lionsgate THRthough the outlet noted that it’s unclear how Fuqua’s film will address child sexual abuse allegations against Jackson that were last made public in the 2019 documentary Find Neverland.

The film will be produced in conjunction with Jackson’s estate — co-performers John Branca and John McClain are listed as producers — who have repeatedly defended the late singer and songwriter against charges, the outlet also reported.

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Known as the “King of Pop” in the music industry, Jackson died on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50 after going into cardiac arrest at home. In 2011, his physician Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in his death.

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Jackson5

Jackson5

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Fuqua recently directed Will Smith Emancipationwhich served as the 54-year-old Smith’s first film release since the controversial moment when the actor punched Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars in March 2022. The film is available to stream on Apple TV+.

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Screenwriter John Logan, who previously wrote Gladiator (2000), The kite (2004) and the James Bond episodes Skyfall (2012) and Ghost (2015), wrote the screenplay Michaelaccording to THR.

No casting decisions have been announced at this time as to who will play Jackson or other major figures in the singer’s life.

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