J.J. Abrams and Tavis Smiley Team Up to Produce Michael Jackson Series
Blockbuster director J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and longtime journalist/commentator Tavis Smiley are teaming up to create a miniseries on the final months of pop icon Michael Jackson.
The miniseries will be produced by Warner Bros., though it is not yet attached to a network and has no release date. The series is based on Smiley's new book, Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson's Last Days, which was just released yesterday (June 20). The book is described as a "novelistic rendering of the final months in the life of one of the most iconic figures in modern popular culture" and follows the last 16 days leading up the superstar's 2009 death.
In what is apparently the beginning of a long partnership between Abrams and Smiley, both will serve as executive producers for the project. Additionally, CNN reports that their production companies, Smiley TV and Bad Robot, announced in April they are also developing a television series about Smiley's 2014 book, Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Final Year.
The Abrams and Smiley partnership is good news to Jackson fans. It comes on the heels of Spike Lee's well-received documentary, Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown to Off the Wall and a not-so-well-received announced movie about the post-9/11 road trip Jackson took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando is currently in production, controversially starring a very white Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson.
This Saturday, June 25, marks the seven year anniversary of Jackson's death.