The race for the best Michael Jackson biopic among several networks seems to still be on, and Lifetime is apparently ahead of the competition with the release of the official trailer for the upcoming Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland film.
While the trailer and entire idea of Lifetime handling the fallen music idol’s biopic was ill-received by many fans, members behind Michael Jackson’s estate won’t be receiving the biopic at all.
According to Billboard, the estate released a statement disapproving of not only Lifetime’s film, but also that of the popular film-streaming service Netflix, which reportedly bought a script for another MJ film that will depict the life and times of MJ through the eyes of his pet monkey, Bubbles.
The statement reads that should any of these projects air without the greenlight of the estate, the parties involved could find themselves in the defendant's seat in court. Billboard adds that the estate has not permitted or authorized any uses of MJ’s likenesses, such as his music, images, videos and films, and stand by their statement to combat any exploitation of his legacy. Additionally, the estate has its own King of Pop projects underway, which have not yet been announced, but will "respect, honor and celebrate Michael’s life and legacy,” Billboard reports.
"To clear up any confusion or misperceptions about unsanctioned Michael Jackson projects currently in the news — including a Lifetime television movie and an animated film script recently purchased by Netflix — the Estate of Michael Jackson does not license or permit the use of any rights it owns, including to Michael’s music, images, video and films, for use in unauthorized works seeking to exploit Michael's legacy,” Billboard reports from the full statement. “The Estate itself has numerous projects in development, all of which respect, honor and celebrate Michael’s life and legacy along with his extraordinary artistry that touched fans throughout the world. When the executors are ready to announce them, they will. As Michael said countless times about his own work, the quality goes in before the name goes on."
Let's hope both Netflix and Lifetime pays respect to their wishes in the meantime.
(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)