Celebrity biopics always run the risk of ticking off their source material, but when you’re covering the King of Pop, you best lawyer up.
Two upcoming projects about Michael Jackson could potentially be facing lawsuits, based on a statement released by Jackson’s estate.
The first is a Lifetime movie called Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, which is based on a book written by the singer’s two bodyguards and told from their perspective. Jackson is played by Navi, the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest Michael Jackson impersonator.”
That movie is airing on Lifetime on Memorial Day, so it might be too late for them to abandon ship if things get legally murky. But the second project in the works has a more bizarre premise.
Remember Bubbles? You know, Bubbles, Jackson’s chimpanzee companion. Well, Netflix recently bought the script for an animated movie told from his perspective. That’s right, we’re getting a chimpanzee’s hot take on one of the most controversial figures in music.
That movie’s release is a long way off. But on Monday, MJ’s estate released a statement responding to both projects.
“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.”
They continued by saying that a number of internal projects are being developed which “celebrate and honor” his life.
In other entertainment news, Beyoncé is about to pop — let’s take a look back at her growing baby bump: