Michael Jackson biopic in the works, ‘Emancipation’ helmer Antoine Fuqua set to

A biographical film on the late pop legend Michael Jackson is in the works, as per Variety. The Lionsgate project will be helmed by Antoine Fuqua, who recently directed Will Smith in the historical action thriller ‘Emancipation’. John Logan, the scribe who is best known for the horror TV show ‘Penny Dreadful’ and James Bond movies like ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Spectre’, is writing the film. The film will begin shooting this year. 

Michael Jackson was one of the biggest and most well-known figures of the 20th century. Born in Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958, Jackson breathed his last in June 25, 2009. He died of a propofol overdose.

While Jackson, born Michael Joseph Jackson, is one of the biggest figures in pop culture of the last century, his career and life were also marred by controversies arising out of his behaviour, relationships, and radical alterations to his appearance. He was also accused multiple times of sexually abusing children. One wonders whether the film will depict all that.

‘Emancipation’, released in December last year, had Smith playing the role of an ex-slave who escapes his captors. The film featured Peter, Smith’s character, evading pursuers to reach North and joining the Union Army, the force that vanquished the slavery-supporting Confederate States Army. The film, penned by William N. Collage, is based on a fascinating real story of Gordon or ‘Whipped Slave’. The image of his back, marked with scars of whipping, was one of the most remarkable images from the Civil War era.

Wion’s review of the film was negative. It read, “A coherent film based on Whipped Peter’s story could have been inspiring and rich with drama, but ‘Emancipation’ watches like a film that a hypothetical machine would churn out if it was instructed to manufacture the perfect Oscar bait. It is as though Smith kept the film as a second alternative to score an Oscar nomination if ‘King Richard’ did not succeed. It has that “prestige” look and often seems appears to be a bad parody of one of HBO’s crime dramas. Visually, the film is nearly but not exactly black-and-white, another choice probably to give the film a pretentious aesthetic but that does not justify its presence.”

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