Michael Jackson’s Estate Denounces Lifetime and Netflix Projects, Hints at New Projects
Yesterday, Michael Jackson's estate released a statement confirming it has no involvement in two upcoming projects by Lifetime TV and Netflix respectively. Litigation could follow.
Last Tuesday, Lifetime shared the first trailer for Michael Jackson: Finding Neverland which is due to air at the end of this month. The film stars Michael Jackson impersonator, Navi, and is based on the 2014 book, Remember The Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days, by the legend's bodyguards Javon Beard and Bill Whitfield.
Netflix is reportedly in talks to to purchase a script by Isaac Adamson on Michael Jackson's life, as told by his pet monkey, Bubbles. The unusual piece, which topped the 2015 Black List, is worth near $20 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and is protected by international rights. Should the deal go through, the film will be a stop-animation feature directed by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and claymation director Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox).
While denouncing these unauthorized works, the estate revealed it has "numerous projects in development, all of which respect, honor, and celebrate Michael's life and legacy". In what is perhaps a further expression of their displeasure at the two entertainment companies the estate added, in regard to these projects, that "the quality goes in before the name goes on".
Read the full statement from the Michael Jackson Estate:
"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. The Estate itself has numerous projects in development, all of which respect, honor and celebrate Michael’s life and legacy along with his extraordinary artistry that touched fans throughout the world. When the executors are ready to announce them, they will. As Michael said countless times about his own work, the quality goes in before the name goes on."