After Court Victories, Michael Jackson Estate Eyes Revival AP/News

CherubimII

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After Court Victories, Michael Jackson Estate Eyes Revival (usatoday.com)


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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Michael Jackson’s musical legacy never left, but a kind of comeback is coming.
With a series of court victories that bring the end to serious legal crises, with a Broadway show beginning and a Cirque du Soleil show returning after a long pandemic pause, the Jackson business is on the upswing 12 years after the pop superstarÂ’s death.

Very recently, things looked grim. The 2019 HBO documentary “ Leaving Neverland ” raised child molestation allegations anew. The once-dead lawsuits brought by the two men featured in it had been revived by changes in the law. And a decision in the estate’s appeal of a $700 million tax bill was taking years to arrive.

“I was always optimistic,” John Branca, the entertainment attorney who worked with Jackson through many of his biggest triumphs and now serves as co-executor of his estate, told The Associated Press in an interview at his Beverly Hills home. “Michael inspired the planet and his music still does. There was never any doubt about that.”

The optimism was warranted. A succession of court decisions came. One accusersÂ’ lawsuit was dismissed in October. The other was tossed out in April. In May, a ruling in the tax case slashed the bill dramatically. The estate suddenly stands nearly clear of a dozen years of disputes. That means Branca expects that in the next 18 months it can finally be taken out of probate court and turned into a trust for JacksonÂ’s three children, who are all now adults.

And the focus of the estate can now shift back to presenting Jackson to the world.
The first priority is the revival of the Cirque du Soleil show, “Michael Jackson: One” at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It is slated to reopen Aug. 19 after a coronavirus closure of nearly a year and a half, in time for a major celebration there planned for Jackson’s Aug. 27 birthday.

The Broadway show, “MJ: The Musical,” will follow quickly on its heels, the first of several planned projects.

Branca said the
delay of well over a year, as happened for all of Broadway, was “frustrating” but he has renewed excitement about “MJ: The Musical” and shared new details.

“It’s not a chronological depiction of Michael’s life,” he said. “It’s more impressionistic, inspired by Michael’s life and his music. It takes place as Michael is preparing for a tour and MTV wants to get an interview. Michael’s very press shy, and slowly but surely as they develop a relationship begins to talk about different parts of his life that then get enacted in the show.”

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage wrote the showÂ’s book. Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon is directing and choreographing. Broadway newcomer Myles Frost will star as Jackson, after Ephraim Sykes dropped out to shoot a movie. Rehearsals resume in September, and previews begin in December.

Branca said heÂ’s proud of the diversity the show will bring to the stage.
“The cast is obviously largely Black,” Branca said, “In an era where that’s sorely wanted on Broadway.”

Successes aside, Branca feels lingering bitterness about director Dan Reed’s “Leaving Neverland” and what he felt were American media outlets that “don’t have the time or the wherewithal to do the research to figure out what’s true and what’s not true.”

Hence, the estateÂ’s last lingering lawsuit, now in private arbitration, is one that it brought itself, and one Branca very much wanted filed, against HBO over the documentary.

“I was very angry at HBO and Dan Reed and I still am because here’s the thing: You can say anything you want about somebody who’s dead. They’re not here to protect themselves,” Branca said.

The two men featured in the documentary are appealing the dismissals of their lawsuits. HBO has defended “Leaving Neverland” as a valid and important piece of documentary journalism.

Ironically, the victory handed to the estate in its tax case came in part because the judge believed the value of JacksonÂ’s image and likeness had been severely diminished by such allegations at the time of his death, despite his acquittal at his 2005 trial for child molestation. It was one aspect of an all-around victory for the estate thatÂ’s bringing a far smaller bill thatÂ’s being calculated now.

Under the guidance of Branca and his more behind-the-scenes co-executor John McClain, the estate has brought in $2.5 billion in revenue in the past 11 years, and Jackson has remained the top earning deceased celebrity every year since his death at age 50 from a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol.

But Branca says the way JacksonÂ’s musical legacy echoes through modern artists may be his most impressive legacy.

“Kanye West, Drake, Beyoncé, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande — they all point back to Michael,” Branca said. “His influence is really enormous.”
___
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton







 
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AlwaysThere

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They said the Broadway show is the first of several planned projects, but that starts previews in December. Seems like that means we arenÂ’t getting a real project this year. Bummer.
 

mjfanboy27

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That means for me it will only focus on shows mj one show mj musical new york and probably mj bio movie no release a shame
 

Zakk

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They have several projects planned, that can be released at any point.. the first of them doesn't mean in order of release it just means they have more on the way, he speaks with optimism.. which is nice to see after the past few years...
 

Smooth72

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IÂ’m right down the road from BrancaÂ’s house right now. I will knock on his door and ask him when we are getting some unreleased songs lol. I will check on a HD concert release too.
 

kreen

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After Court Victories, Michael Jackson Estate Eyes Revival (usatoday.com)


1000.jpeg



BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Michael Jackson’s musical legacy never left, but a kind of comeback is coming.
With a series of court victories that bring the end to serious legal crises, with a Broadway show beginning and a Cirque du Soleil show returning after a long pandemic pause, the Jackson business is on the upswing 12 years after the pop superstarÂ’s death.

Very recently, things looked grim. The 2019 HBO documentary “ Leaving Neverland ” raised child molestation allegations anew. The once-dead lawsuits brought by the two men featured in it had been revived by changes in the law. And a decision in the estate’s appeal of a $700 million tax bill was taking years to arrive.

“I was always optimistic,” John Branca, the entertainment attorney who worked with Jackson through many of his biggest triumphs and now serves as co-executor of his estate, told The Associated Press in an interview at his Beverly Hills home. “Michael inspired the planet and his music still does. There was never any doubt about that.”

The optimism was warranted. A succession of court decisions came. One accusersÂ’ lawsuit was dismissed in October. The other was tossed out in April. In May, a ruling in the tax case slashed the bill dramatically. The estate suddenly stands nearly clear of a dozen years of disputes. That means Branca expects that in the next 18 months it can finally be taken out of probate court and turned into a trust for JacksonÂ’s three children, who are all now adults.

And the focus of the estate can now shift back to presenting Jackson to the world.
The first priority is the revival of the Cirque du Soleil show, “Michael Jackson: One” at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It is slated to reopen Aug. 19 after a coronavirus closure of nearly a year and a half, in time for a major celebration there planned for Jackson’s Aug. 27 birthday.

The Broadway show, “MJ: The Musical,” will follow quickly on its heels, the first of several planned projects.

Branca said the
delay of well over a year, as happened for all of Broadway, was “frustrating” but he has renewed excitement about “MJ: The Musical” and shared new details.

“It’s not a chronological depiction of Michael’s life,” he said. “It’s more impressionistic, inspired by Michael’s life and his music. It takes place as Michael is preparing for a tour and MTV wants to get an interview. Michael’s very press shy, and slowly but surely as they develop a relationship begins to talk about different parts of his life that then get enacted in the show.”

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage wrote the showÂ’s book. Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon is directing and choreographing. Broadway newcomer Myles Frost will star as Jackson, after Ephraim Sykes dropped out to shoot a movie. Rehearsals resume in September, and previews begin in December.

Branca said heÂ’s proud of the diversity the show will bring to the stage.
“The cast is obviously largely Black,” Branca said, “In an era where that’s sorely wanted on Broadway.”

Successes aside, Branca feels lingering bitterness about director Dan Reed’s “Leaving Neverland” and what he felt were American media outlets that “don’t have the time or the wherewithal to do the research to figure out what’s true and what’s not true.”

Hence, the estateÂ’s last lingering lawsuit, now in private arbitration, is one that it brought itself, and one Branca very much wanted filed, against HBO over the documentary.

“I was very angry at HBO and Dan Reed and I still am because here’s the thing: You can say anything you want about somebody who’s dead. They’re not here to protect themselves,” Branca said.

The two men featured in the documentary are appealing the dismissals of their lawsuits. HBO has defended “Leaving Neverland” as a valid and important piece of documentary journalism.

Ironically, the victory handed to the estate in its tax case came in part because the judge believed the value of JacksonÂ’s image and likeness had been severely diminished by such allegations at the time of his death, despite his acquittal at his 2005 trial for child molestation. It was one aspect of an all-around victory for the estate thatÂ’s bringing a far smaller bill thatÂ’s being calculated now.

Under the guidance of Branca and his more behind-the-scenes co-executor John McClain, the estate has brought in $2.5 billion in revenue in the past 11 years, and Jackson has remained the top earning deceased celebrity every year since his death at age 50 from a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol.

But Branca says the way JacksonÂ’s musical legacy echoes through modern artists may be his most impressive legacy.

“Kanye West, Drake, Beyoncé, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande — they all point back to Michael,” Branca said. “His influence is really enormous.”
___
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton








Circus shows, musicals, biopics: just so much product, as far as I'm concerned. I don't care about any of that stuff, and wouldn't go see it even if it was free. I want unreleased music. I've been listening to Xscape again these past few days: why can't the Estate do this again? Take 8 unreleased tracks and get Timbaland to produce them for a modern sound and release it. How hard is that? They could even use songs that have leaked but were never on an official release -- I wouldn't mind.
 

somewhereinthedark

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Circus shows, musicals, biopics: just so much product, as far as I'm concerned. I don't care about any of that stuff, and wouldn't go see it even if it was free. I want unreleased music. I've been listening to Xscape again these past few days: why can't the Estate do this again? Take 8 unreleased tracks and get Timbaland to produce them for a modern sound and release it. How hard is that? They could even use songs that have leaked but were never on an official release -- I wouldn't mind.

Have you forgotten that some fans even complained about Xscape and that was a great project. Some fans will complain and sabotage everything. 😔
 

Hess

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Xscape truely was a great release. - even though I do not agrre with all the prodution Timbaland did - ducks on Chicago and the DYKWYCA production - most was great. Lovin' You is superb ion both versions. I actually listens to the album a lot these days - and the genius about Xscape is we have the demo version as MJ left it.

I actually like both versions of both songs - maybe exept DYKWYCA, demo is fine, new version not so much.
 

SeriousEffect.

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Michael would have loved Chicago, don't forget he loved unique sounds. A shame him and Timbo never got together while he was alive, I know MJ had to be a fan of his music because of the production.
 

somewhereinthedark

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Xscape truely was a great release. - even though I do not agrre with all the prodution Timbaland did - ducks on Chicago and the DYKWYCA production - most was great. Lovin' You is superb ion both versions. I actually listens to the album a lot these days - and the genius about Xscape is we have the demo version as MJ left it.

I actually like both versions of both songs - maybe exept DYKWYCA, demo is fine, new version not so much.

I agree. Love the Xscape album. I actually got goosebumps at the initial listening of that album. Would LOVE an Xscape Part II with different songs.
 

Nite Line

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Michael would have loved Chicago, don't forget he loved unique sounds. A shame him and Timbo never got together while he was alive, I know MJ had to be a fan of his music because of the production.

The duck sounds in the Chicago remix was annoying. I don't think Michael would have been happy with it tbh.
 
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