Antoine Fuqua has confirmed he will be directing the forthcoming Michael Jackson biopic.
The film – titled Michael – previously saw Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Graham King come on board to produce the film alongside John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate.
The screenplay is being written by John Logan (Gladiator, Skyfall), who previously worked with King on Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator (2004).
Now Fuqua, who previously directed Training Day, The Equalizer trilogy and more recently Emancipation, has confirmed he is on board.
“The first films of my career were music videos, and I still feel that combining film and music are a deep part of who I am,” said Fuqua in a statement via The Hollywood Reporter.
“For me, there is no artist with the power, the charisma, and the sheer musical genius of Michael Jackson. I was influenced to make music videos by watching his work – the first Black artist to play in heavy rotation on MTV. His music and those images are part of my worldview, and the chance to tell his story on the screen alongside his music was irresistible.”
Lionsgate will handle domestic distribution the biopic and will seek an international partner for the feature.
“Michael will give audiences an in-depth portrayal of the 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,” according to a description of the film.
The involvement of Jackson’s estate in the project suggests that the movie won’t deal with the allegations of child sexual abuse that were levelled against the singer during his career and after his death in 2009. But according to Lionsgate, the film will address all aspects of Jackson’s life.
Back in 2019, the four-hour documentary Leaving Neverland included testimony from James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who both claimed they were sexually abused by Jackson as children in the 1990s.
Michael Jackson denied any wrongdoing prior to his death aged 50.
Meanwhile, the late singer’s estate recently paid tribute to Lisa Marie Presley following her death last week.