Michael Jackson's family pitching a biopic around Hollywood
It look a little longer than I thought it would, but the Michael Jackson estate has formally begun shopping around the rights to the late singer's life story, meeting earlier this week with producer Ivan Reitman. A Michael Jackson biopic is something of a no-brainer - just look at RAY and WALK THE LINE for some quick examples on how Hollywood loves a good troubled-but-successful-artist story and Jackson's life is full of troubled times - but it looks like the estate and family may be putting some restrictions on what can be included.
Variety reports that the project could only cover "certain periods" of the singer's life. That may mean they'd look to exclude any of the child sexual abuse allegations that plagued the later years of his life, which would just be trying to ignore the 600 lb. elephant in the room. I mean, like it or not, that's what a lot of people still associate with the singer and if you're doing a biopic, it certainly needs to be addressed.
It will also be interesting to see how the film approaches the alleged physical abuse Michael claimed to have been a victim to as a child at the hands of his father (who's still alive, refutes the charges and is very likely involved with his late son's estate).
I'm also slightly surprised that the Jackson estate's first stop is to producer Ivan Reitman. Reitman and his Montecito Pictures have released HOTEL FOR DOGS, NO STRINGS ATTACHED and TRAILER PARK BOYS: THE MOVIE. Not exactly big-time dramatic fare. (Full disclosure: they did produce UP IN THE AIR but only because Reitman's son Jason directed that film.) Maybe a Scott Rudin type would be better for this sort of thing?
So how exactly would you frame a Michael Jackson movie? It'd almost have to be a trilogy at this point, no?...