Another Michael Jackson documentary is on the way.
Just days after the news that the MJ estate is suing HBO over the controversial Leaving Neverland documentary about the late pop star’s alleged sexual abuse of two young men, BBC Two announced on Tuesday (Feb. 26) that it is prepping a Jackson biopic, slated to air on the network later this year.
The film directed by Jacques Peretti — the writer/director’s fourth movie about Jackson — Michael Jackson: The Rise and Fall will follow MJ’s path from his modest beginnings in Gary, Indiana, and rise to fame as part of the family band the Jackson 5 through the preparations for his abandoned “This Is It” 2009 comeback shows.
“By speaking to the individuals who shaped him and were close to him, and looking at key moments in his career that had a profound impact on him, the film will try and unpick the circumstances, controversies and accusations that continue to surround him today in an attempt to better understand the rise and fall of the pop superstar,” read a statement announcing the film, which follows up on Peretti’s pervious films, Micahel Jackson: What Really Happened, Michael Jackson’s Last Days: What Really Happened and Michael Jackson’s Secret Hollywood.
BBC Two rival Channel 4 is set to air Leaving Neverland over two nights beginning on March 6, just days after the two-part doc is slated to debut on HBO on Sunday (March 3). Rise and Fall (a working title) promises to explore Jackson’s “relationship with the media, retreat into fantasy and creation of Neverland [ranch], to the preparations for his This Is It concerts shortly before his death,” courtesy of interviews with unnamed people who worked with an knew the self-proclaimed King of Pop.
Mark Bell, commissioning editor, BBC Arts, says: “When Jacques Peretti approached us early last year with an idea of making a fourth film about Michael Jackson, there was no doubt that he was uniquely placed to take a broad look at the mysterious and controversial life and reputation of this man. We are looking forward to premiering this film on BBC Two later this year.”
“Jaques Peretti has been one of the foremost critical commentators of Michael Jackson and his troubled life and legacy,” said BBC Two controller Patrick Holland. “When he came to us over a year ago with the idea of reappraising him 10 years after his death, we were immediately taken with the project. We knew it would not shy away from the controversies that surround MJ and would be a thorough look at the many facets of his life that would help us try to understand what made him who he was.”