Michael Jackson biopic by Graham King in development

Los Angeles: A biopic on the life of Michael Jackson is currently in the works. Lionsgate will act as the distributor of the project which will be produced by “Bohemian Rhapsody’s” Graham King. The film is being made with the cooperation of the Michael Jackson estate and will document the turbulent life and career of the ‘King of Pop’ who suffered a fatal cardiac arrest brought on by a drugs overdose, dying at the age of 50 in 2009. Lionsgate described the film as “an in-depth portrayal of a complicated man who became the King of Pop. It will bring to life Jackson’s most iconic performances as it gives an informed insight into the entertainer’s artistic process and personal life.” Titled “Michael,” the film will be produced by King, who mined similar terrain with Freddie Mercury, and the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate, John Branca and John McClain. The screenplay is by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan. King and Logan previously collaborated on Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator.” Lionsgate will distribute the film worldwide. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Chairman Joe Drake said in a statement: “ I am very excited that Lionsgate will be part of this epic film, and thrilled to be working with Graham, who has proven success in telling iconic life stories, from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to ‘Ali’; when combined with John (McClain, scriptwriter), we couldn’t be in more extraordinary hands.” King said that he is “humbled” to be bringing the story to the screen almost four decades after he met the famous family. He said: “I first met the Jackson family in 1981 and I’m humbled to bring their legacy to the big screen. Sitting at Dodger Stadium watching the Victory Tour, I could never have imagined that nearly 38 years later I would get the privilege to be a part of this film.” While no details of casting or release dates have been announced, the tragic star’s mother Katherine said that the Jackson family were “honoured” to have their story played out on screen. She said: “Ever since Michael was little, as a member of The Jackson 5, he loved the magic of cinema. As a family, we are honoured to have our life story come alive on the big screen.” Michael Jackson is one of the biggest-selling music artists of all time, with an estimated sales of 400 million records around the globe. He counts 13 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 singles, more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era, and was the first artist to have a top-10 single on that chart in five different decades. His honors include 15 Grammy wins, 6 Brit Awards, a Golden Globe and 39 Guinness World Records including Most Successful Entertainer of All Time. His inductions include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (twice), the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Dance Hall of Fame (the only recording artist to be inducted) and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame. UNI ANV RN

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