Titled Michael, the script was written by John Logan and will be produced by Graham King and John Branca. John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate, are also listed as producers on the project. The film will chronicle Jackson’s rise from a child star to becoming the “King of Pop.”
In an official statement, Fuqua confirmed his participation in the upcoming film.
“The first films of my career were music videos, and I still feel that combining film and music are a deep part of who I am,” Fuqua said. “For me, there is no artist with the power, the charisma, and the sheer musical genius of Michael Jackson. I was influenced to make music videos by watching his work—the first Black artist to play in heavy rotation on MTV. His music and those images are part of my worldview, and the chance to tell his story on the screen alongside his music was irresistible.”
“Antoine is a perceptive and powerful filmmaker, and we feel very fortunate that he has chosen Michael as his next project. His visionary storytelling skills and commitment to his craft will make Michael an unforgettable film,” Joe Drake, chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group added.
Fuqua made his film debut in 1998 with The Replacement Killers and his critical breakthrough Training Day, which starred Denzel Washington, was released in 2001. His other films include Tears of the Sun, King Arthur, Brooklyn's Finest, Olympus Has Fallen, The Equalizer franchise, The Magnificent Seven, Emancipation and many others.
He also directed the critically-acclaimed documentaries What's My Name: Muhammad Ali on HBO and Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers on Hulu.
King noted that Antione is the perfect director to helm the project because of his wide range as a filmmaker.
“Antoine’s films provide personal perspectives of larger-than-life characters that continuously captivate global audiences,” King said. I’m confident that Antoine will make an exceptional and compelling film that will both celebrate and give profound new insights into the life of the King of Pop.”
No date has been determined for the film's release.