The Michael Jackson biopic has found its director.
According to an exclusive Deadline report, Lionsgate has tapped Antoine Fuqua to direct the long-awaited project. Titled Michael, the film was written by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator, Hugo), and will be produced by Graham King (Bohemian Rhapsody).
Liongate states Michael will give audiences an in-depth look at “the complicated man who became the King of Pop, as well as “explore all aspects of Michael’s life, including his most iconic performances that led him to become the greatest entertainer of all time.” The studio has not shared any additional information about the project, including casting details or when it’s expected to hit U.S theaters; however, it did confirm production will begin sometime this year.
The announcement comes as Fuqua prepares to wrap The Equalizer 3 starring Denzel Washington. Though he’s best known for directing movie like Training Day, Shooter, The Magnificent Seven, and Emancipation, Fuqua began his filmmaking career in the music realm, having directed visuals for everyone from Brian McKnight and Heavy D to Prince and Coolio.
“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,” he told Deadline. “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.”
Stay tuned as more details about Michael become available.