Lionsgate has found the person to helm their upcoming biopic, Michael. Antoine Fuqua, best known for his work directing The Equalizer and Emancipation, is officially attached to bring the life and career of Michael Jackson to the silvers screen. The script for the film was written by John Logan (Gladiator) and will be produced by Graham King (Bohemian Rhapsody).
Production for the film is said to begin later this year after Fuqua wraps his work on The Equalizer 3. In an official announcement of the hiring, this is what Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chair Joe Drake had to say about Antoine Fuqua.
Antoine is a perceptive and powerful filmmaker, and we feel very fortunate that he has chosen Michael as his next project. His visionary storytelling skills and commitment to his craft will make Michael an unforgettable film.Joe Drake
This new film will come with the current wave of biopics being created based on iconic figures in 20th-century music. In the past year, Elvis and I Wanna Dance With Somebody had wide-scale releases to varying levels of critical and commercial success. The hope for Lionsgate is that Michael will follow suit with Bohemian Rhapsody, which earned over $900 million at the box office and won multiple Academy Awards.
Though it will be notable to follow if Michael also follows suit in how Bohemian Rhapsody sanitized the life story of Freddie Mercury to appeal to general audiences. It especially will be a challenge with the highly controversial nature of Michael Jackson, and the longstanding allegations and accusations that follow his legacy to this day. There is a valid argument that Michael Jackson is a public figure that doesn’t deserve this type of career celebration on film. Ultimately, it remains to be seen if this new film can overcome the troubled legacy and become the hit film Lionsgate is looking for.