Michael Jackson biopic will reportedly address sexual abuse allegations

Music

The upcoming Michael Jackson biopic will reportedly address the allegations of child sexual abuse against the singer.

Given that the film has the approval of the Jackson estate, it had been unclear whether the film would explore the most controversial aspects of his life, but a new report suggests it will.

Puck News’ Matthew Belloni has obtained an early draft of the script, and says that the film “wants very much to convince you Michael is innocent”, adding that it goes to “great lengths to minimise and downplay the actual claims and eviscerate the Chandlers”.

In 1993, Evan Chandler, a dentist and screenwriter based in Los Angeles, accused Jackson of sexually abusing his 13-year-old son Jordan. The case was concluded when the two parties reached a financial settlement in 1994.

Jaafar Jackson as Michael Jackson in 'Michael'
Jaafar Jackson as Michael Jackson in MICHAEL. Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur

In 2013, four years after Jackson’s death, the choreographer Wade Robson filed a lawsuit against his estate, saying Jackson had sexually abused him between the ages of seven and 14. Another man, the former child actor James Safechuck, also came forward with allegations.

The director of the documentary Leaving Neverland, which documented Robson and Safechuck’s allegations, recently criticised the making of the new biopic, saying it “will glorify a man who raped children”. Robson and Safechuck have requested that their joint trial starts before the release of Michael.

The film has been confirmed to receive a theatrical release in the United States on April 18, 2025, per production house Lionsgate. A UK release date is yet to be announced.

It was announced in January 2023 that Michael Jackson’s own nephew, Jaafar Jackson, will play the King of Pop in the film. Jaafar is the son of Michael’s brother Jermaine. This will be the 27-year-old’s film debut, although he has appeared in the Lifetime reality show The Jacksons: Next Generation.

“With Jaafar, every look, every note, every dance move is Michael,” said producer Graham King in a statement recently. “He embodies Michael in a way that no other actor could.”

The role of Michael’s father Joe Jackson will be filled by Colman Domingo.

Also announced for the film is Miles Teller, who will play John Branca, Michael’s manager after his father, and the man who was instrumental in launching his solo career. Branca is also listed as an executive producer on the film.

It will be directed by Antoine Fuqua, who is known for films including Training DayThe Equalizer and Brooklyn’s Finest. It will also be written by John Logan, who has previously worked on GladiatorThe AviatorSkyfall and Spectre.

Filming began in January, having been delayed by the 2023 acting strike, with principal photography in Santa Monica expected to take 80 days.



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