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Michael Jackson Biopic “Complete Whitewash”

The forthcoming Michael Jackson biopic has been slammed by the maker of the documentary Leaving Neverland, with Dan Reed calling the movie’s script “a complete whitewash.”

Reed, whose 2019 film featured claims by Wade Robson and James Safechuck that Jackson had abused them as children, told The Times of London he had seen a draft script of the biopic, due for release next year. He said:  

“It’s an out-and-out attempt to completely rewrite the allegations and dismiss them out of hand, and contains complete lies. You never even see him alone with any boys, when it is a matter of fact that he shared his bed with small children for many years.”

The biopic has drawn a pedigree team in director Antoine Fuqua, who made Training Day, and writer John Logan, Oscar-nominated for Gladiator, The Aviator and Hugo.

Oscar-nominated Colman Domingo is playing Jackson’s abusive father, Joe, while Miles Teller (Whiplash, Top Gun: Maverick) will play John Branca, Jackson’s manager.

The newspaper adds that music sales data suggests that Jackson’s appeal is growing again after his star waned prior to his death in 2009. It cites Sony’s confirmation last month that it will acquire half of Jackson’s catalog in a deal that valued his assets at $1.2 billion — the largest transaction for a single musician’s work. And Billboard reports that consumption of Jackson’s music worldwide grew last year by more than 38 per cent to 6.5 billion on-demand streams.

The musical MJ, telling the story of the star’s life and using his music, has also arrived in London, fresh from success on Broadway, with German and Australian tour dates also scheduled. The musical makes no mention of the abuse allegations that Jackson faced.

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