Friday, May 24, 2024

Michael Jackson to Be Played by White Actor, Joseph Fiennes, in TV Movie About Something that Never Happened


Let’s call it a fantasy. After his two 30th anniversary concerts in September 2011, Michael Jackson was stuck on the East Coast because of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. So he a) got in a car with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando and drove cross country to Los Angeles or b) stayed in New York for a while and eventually took a private plane home?

The real answer is b. But some British TV filmmakers want to believe a). So they’re going to make a half hour “road trip movie” starring Stockard Channing as Taylor, Brian Cox as Brando, and Joseph Fiennes, as Jackson.

Yes, Joseph Fiennes is white. He’s the brother of Ralph Fiennes, and known mostly for playing Shakespeare in “Shakespeare in Love” in 1998.

Bad idea? Yeah, horrid. Maybe it will be like “Melvin and Howard,” an imagined film about Howard Hughes and a road mechanic. But I doubt it. And in this moment of talk about race, the idea of a white actor playing Michael Jackson is not very appealing.

Plus, of course, the incident never happened. It’s all made up.

There will be no Michael Jackson music, of course. His Estate won’t allow it. But otherwise, they will be able to depict three dead celebrities in as ghastly a situation as they want. I’m just sorry they didn’t cast Cedric the Entertainer as Brando and Caitlyn Jenner as Taylor. But wait, maybe that’s a possibility.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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