"Michael", a biopic about Michael Jackson, is officially happening.

Hiker

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I am not expecting this to be done well at all
Oh no, don't say that. It would be so heartbreaking if it was done badly. Or maybe it's better to lower our expectations already to protect from that.
 

zinniabooklover

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I was about to start a thread about Elvis biopic. It is making me nervous. I am seeing so many articles surface about Elvis everywhere. Most a good, but also some odd, borderline bad ones. It makes me nervous to think about how the media is going to react to Michael biopic when we get close to release. I don't claim to know a lot, but as far as I know Elvis and Michael were at par in popularity during heights of their respective careers. There are so many similarities between them, with one big difference that media was never brutal to Elvis the way it was to Michael.
I'm nervous, too.

Tbh, not that interested in a biopic because autobiographies and biographies don't interest me all that much. But a good biopic for Michael could be wonderful. But there are so many potential pitfalls. Casting the right person (or, presumably, more than one person depending on the time scale of the story), the script, the media reaction.

There are a few similarities between Michael and Elvis. Even the toe stand, lol. Haven't seen any mention of Michael yet, wondering if he'll be mentioned in any reviews.

The Elvis thing is already getting a bit of flak, mainly around the race relations situation in America at the time, but mostly I've seen very positive stuff. Lots of rave preview comments for the guy playing Elvis. Plus they are telling the story through the lens of Colonel Parker which is probably quite clever of them.
 

filmandmusic

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I’m not concerned about reviews but ticket sales. Reviews can be terrible but movies can still bring in the numbers. A recent example is the latest installment of jurassic world.
Good actors and a script are naturally a must, it my opinion it can’t just be a biopic, it should be more special. I’m not opposed to making this partly a fantastical musical because a lot of Michael’s songs are autobiographical and can sell a point of view too (f.e. Childhood). I’m not saying a song should break out every 10 minutes but some creativity in the script is needed. Maybe some dream sequences of an adult Michael reliving his ideal childhood. I mean there should be focus on what Michael himself found important and that is a missing childhood. Michael was fantastical, he only performed in 2 movies and they both were fantasy/musicals so a biopic film filmed “in the mind” of MJ could paint a positive picture of him.
Song choices are very important too. I hope for lots of unexpected song picks and this definitely includes the Motown era. This is especially important now that Kate Bush scored a smash hit (it does a lot better than in its initial run in 1985) with an old track thanks to a tv show. If the focus is on the thriller and bad singles only then I will be very disappointed. These songs already have their place in cultural history, lets try to get other songs to shine.

I really don’t want a film that dramatizes every part of his life (you know like fights with family, screaming, crying etc). It should retain an element of fun and fantasy.
I have recently seen both the Freddy Mercury and Elton John biopics and I rather want to see ”our” biopic more like the Elton John one.
 
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AChanceToDance

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It will probably focus on MJ's J5 years up until his prime years and fill it with unnecessary drama moments that never happened, same way Bohemian Rhapsody did. With the Estate involved they'll do anything to avoid controversies and not focus on the allegations, his drug use, the trials, etc. The movie will likely get the mainstream's attention for a while and raise his stream numbers and be forgotten, I'm not putting any faith in this movie.
 

zinniabooklover

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I really don’t want a film that dramatizes every part of his life (you know like fights with family, screaming, crying etc).
I just think that approach is inevitable, though. I would love to be proved wrong - and I don't watch biopics anyway - but am not feeling hugely hopeful about this.

It will probably focus on MJ's J5 years up until his prime years and fill it with unnecessary drama moments that never happened, same way Bohemian Rhapsody did. With the Estate involved they'll do anything to avoid controversies and not focus on the allegations, his drug use, the trials, etc. The movie will likely get the mainstream's attention for a while and raise his stream numbers and be forgotten, I'm not putting any faith in this movie.
Sounds about right.
 

BUMPER SNIPPET

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https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-news/michael-jackson-biopic-lionsgate-announced-1296360/

It's officially sanctioned by the estate & the Jackson family, and it's going to be co-produced by Graham King (AKA the producer of Bohemian Rhapsody who secured the rights to make an MJ biopic several months ago) and it's gonna be distributed by Lionsgate.

Also, Graham King is a fan who mentions that he's done his own research about the allegations and believes that he was innocent. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

Personally, I don't think that a single 2-hour movie is enough to do justice to Michael's career, and I'd rather see the Estate focus on a project that helps vindicate MJ's innocence (e.g. Taj's upcoming Kickstarter documentary series). However, if this movie is done well and is able to improve the general public's perception of Michael in a more positive way, than it's a win-win situation.

What are your thoughts, everyone?
My thoughts is, Michael made a very bad move when he signed with SONY after his BAD album for 1 billion dollars. It was a trap that cost him his life, career and music catalogue. He was unfortunately trapped by that contract from which he had hard time to escape. He was no longer in control really. I don't think this will be brought up in the movie as the Estate controls MJ's legacy. Just my two cents.

I hope E Casanova gets MJ's role.
 

Smooth72

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My thoughts is, Michael made a very bad move when he signed with SONY after his BAD album for 1 billion dollars. It was a trap that cost him his life, career and music catalogue. He was unfortunately trapped by that contract from which he had hard time to escape. He was no longer in control really. I don't think this will be brought up in the movie as the Estate controls MJ's legacy. Just my two cents.

I hope E Casanova gets MJ's role.
No one can play MJ cringe. Myles is ok until he speaks. I wish this film wouldn’t happen.
 

filmandmusic

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When the news initially got announced I wanted the film to deal with the allegations but I changed my tune about that.
I really want it to be a celebration, sure the 1993 stuff should get a mention but don’t make a (too)big deal out of it. The 2005 trial obviously deserves more attention.

Do they really need to invent drama that never happened? I don’t think so, you can write a full netflix season about his life without having to invent anything, he had an eventful life…

So let it be a celebration and let Taj and possible others deal with the serious (superimportant) allegations in a documentary
 

Hiker

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When the news initially got announced I wanted the film to deal with the allegations but I changed my tune about that.
I really want it to be a celebration, sure the 1993 stuff should get a mention but don’t make a (too)big deal out of it. The 2005 trial obviously deserves more attention.

Do they really need to invent drama that never happened? I don’t think so, you can write a full netflix season about his life without having to invent anything, he had an eventful life…

So let it be a celebration and let Taj and possible others deal with the serious (superimportant) allegations in a documentary
Agreed. I so wish it to be a celebration of Michael's career, evolution of his music, the humanitarian work. We don't hear enough about those.
 

BUMPER SNIPPET

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No one can play MJ cringe. Myles is ok until he speaks. I wish this film wouldn’t happen.
Obviously. But then this is true for any historical figure.
Agreed. I so wish it to be a celebration of Michael's career, evolution of his music, the humanitarian work. We don't hear enough about those.
It would be interesting to heavily focus on the humanitarian aspect and finally injustice that came along. And of course music.
 

Nite Line

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The biopic should be done in two parts, since you can't tell Michael's whole life story in just one movie. The first part should focus on Michael's early childhood in Indiana, Jackson 5, Leaving Motown, Off The Wall, Thriller and should conclude with the end of Victory Tour, where Michael announces that he is leaving the Jackson 5. If part one is done right and fans love it, then somewhere down the line, we can get a part 2, which addresses the controversies such as changing skin colour, drug usage, allegations, trial etc.
 

SmoothCriminal1995

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There's something about a biopic on Mike that doesn't sit right with me. Long post incoming...

I like John Logan, Skyfall and Gladiator were incredible, but I'm not sure anyone could present Michael's story accurately, without looking like fan or without seeming to bash him. Then you have to dramatise certain moments for the entertainment of general audiences

Then there's near impossible task of casting someone as Michael, how do they capture his essence without coming across as parody.
The only person I've seen do him justice was the man who played Mike in the Jacksons American Dream series, he was fantastic

I'd rather see them compile all the relevant unseen videos, audio and pictures of Michael. Then allow that to shape the story, allowing the viewer to see the story through Mike's perspective. Like the Amy and Senna documentaries
Then you could mine stories from collaborators and friends to help guide the story, also then these great untold stories about MJ don't die with these great people.

A biopic smells of a cash grab, rather than an opportunity to present Michael's amazing story and cement his legacy for future audiences.

Audiences should discover Michael's unrivalled legacy as he would have wanted, through his wonderful artistry. Not somebody rewriting his HIStory
 

Nite Line

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A biopic smells of a cash grab, rather than an opportunity to present Michael's amazing story and cement his legacy for future audiences.
A biopic might be a cash grab, but in my opinion, it is a great way to grow Michael's fanbase and his legacy. I believe the biopic will bring a lot of attention to not only Michael's art but also Michael as a person. It will appeal to the younger audience and will inspire them to check out Michael's music, which will only grow his fanbase and legacy.

Take Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic, it brought them a lot of new fans including myself. I never listened to Queen's music, but after watching Bohemian Rapsody, I was inspired to check out Queen's music and now they are my most second favourite music artist after Michael.
 

filmandmusic

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The Queen biopic did absolute wonders for the band. Ever since its release they have become the greatest old school act on spotify, their streams were gigantic Bohemian rhapsody became the biggest old track on spotify closing in on 2 billion streams as we speak. It is in fact one of the most streamed tracks ever. If you check out that all time chart it is the oldest track on it by far, in fact there are no tracks from the 70s or 80s there at all.

If we want new MJ stuff in the future we have to hope for a big biopic. It is the event that will determine whether there will be new MJ projects in the future. That is why the focus should be on celebrating the life and the artist without too much attention given to gossip and allegations. We had enough of that and it wouldn’t make sense for the Estate to delve deep into that matter from a commercial viewpoint.
The upcoming thriller celebration is peanuts compared to a blockbuster movie.

This biopic doesn’t have to be the only MJ film….
If the Estate wants an opportunity to clear MJ’s name apart from documentaries. They can always make a courtroom drama about the 2005 allegations. Michael won that case so the press can’t really critique that move without looking biased.

If the fight for justice is stopped then it is conceding defeat. The fight will only continue if the upcoming movie becomes a success. That is the lifeline the Estate and the fans need for Michael’s name to live on in pride and not tragedy.

So if you have a bad feeling about this then fine but it is of huge importance and it should be supported. It is either the start of a resurgence or the continuation of the end which started with LN. In my eyes it is that black and white… MJ’s relevance as an artist is at stake.
 

Hiker

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I'd rather see them compile all the relevant unseen videos, audio and pictures of Michael. Then allow that to shape the story, allowing the viewer to see the story through Mike's perspective. Like the Amy and Senna documentaries
Then you could mine stories from collaborators and friends to help guide the story, also then these great untold stories about MJ don't die with these great people.
I would SO love to see that, Michael's story told through all the backstage footage of him recording, working, making history!
Though I don't think that can relace a well done movie in terms of potential for reaching the masses. I am keeping my fingers crossed that its done well and thoughtfully.
 

staywild23

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Ok, I know I tend to be annoyingly idealistic (I have not been accused of that on this forum, but I have basically everywhere else in life lol) but I actually feel really excited about the biopic and hopeful for what it will mean for Michael!

I was not a part of the fandom when MJ the Musical was announced, but I have since heard that the announcement was not initially well-received by fans at large. I presume out of fear that the estate would mess it up, or that it would flop. But that is clearly not the case. It's an excellent musical, now award-winning, one of the most popular musicals on Broadway, and has a national tour forthcoming. It was definitely the right move for Michael's legacy and absolutely is setting the groundwork for a successful biopic in a couple years.

My thinking is this: the estate seems to mess up when it tries to handle stuff itself. But when it connects to industry talent who know what they are doing, it seems to do well. Based on the people working on the biopic so far, we can expect a certain level of quality IMO. There have been a number of successful biopics the last few years and as @filmandmusic said above, biopics can do a ton for the legacy of an artist. For example, I was in high school when Walk the Line came out and Johnny Cash became HUGE in my friend group and with people my age in general. I am still a fan of his to this day because of the biopic. That has of course happened with many other artists as well.

I really believe that with a multi-faceted effort over the next few years - between the musical winning awards/touring, the Thriller 40 anniversary getting people talking about Michael more, and the forthcoming documentaries (I'm not super hopeful about Taj's at this point, but "Trial By Media" will be amazing I think), the ground will be set for a successful biopic, which probably won't even come out until 2025, since they aren't even beginning to film until next fall. So much can be done to restore his legacy prior to the biopic, that the biopic may not be the "make or break" we are thinking of it as, but could be more the icing on the cake.

Am I too optimistic about all of this? Maybe. But I am very excited.

PS: I do think the concern over casting Michael is an extremely valid one. I thought Myles was incredible in the musical, but I am not convinced he could carry a film of this magnitude at this stage in his life. I have also disliked every version of Michael that has been cast in the various made-for-TV biopics over the years. I think it might be ideal to take a hyper artistic approach to this biopic, a la "I'm Not There," Bob Dylan's biopic.
 

SmoothGangsta

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Yes, whatever your opinions on its quality (I personally think it wasn't the highest quality film but it did what it was made to do), Bohemian Rhapsody did wonders for Queen. Their songs were playing everywhere I went when it came out.

MJ biopic will be much harder to do correctly, many moments for error and I fear they won't succeed. Obviously I hope they do lol.
 

SmoothCriminal1995

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Yes, whatever your opinions on its quality (I personally think it wasn't the highest quality film but it did what it was made to do), Bohemian Rhapsody did wonders for Queen. Their songs were playing everywhere I went when it came out.

MJ biopic will be much harder to do correctly, many moments for error and I fear they won't succeed. Obviously I hope they do lol.
That's my fear about it. I think they'll struggle to capture Michael's essence without coming across as parody and I fear they'll miss major milestones and key details of his life for pacing
 

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I will see this movie with an open mind, but... I fear it will be a disaster.

How on earth can anyone play MJ? MJ's look changed, his color changed due to vitiligo, his voice is hard to imitate without it sounding ridiculous. His stage charisma is impossible to capture.
If they only focus on one era - fx. 1983-1990 - they still have to show the change in appereance. And what will they do? cast a black actor and then when vitiligo takes over they have to make to black actor all white? I really hope though, that they will inform the audience about the struggles MJ had to go thru with vitiligo - first making the white spots black - and the finally giving up.
 

xscape guy 2003

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Still think this will be amazing and with the Thriller 40 Celebration in full swing along with many other projects I think this will be the icing on the cake.
Will be interesting to see who they get to cast Michael. Through the different times in life and whether there will be Michael part 1 2 and maybe 3?
 
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