Cable network Lifetime has ordered a film based on the last few years of Michael Jackson’s life.
The biographical drama, tentatively titled Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, will be told through the eyes of his bodyguards. He will be played by Navi, considered the world’s most prominent Michael Jackson impersonator.
The project is based on the book Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days, written by Motown head Berry Gordy whose former creative assistant, Suzanne de Passe, will be the executive producer. It follows in the footsteps of other Lifetime music biopics on Whitney Houston, Aaliyah and the upcoming take on the life of Britney Spears.
The announcement comes soon after UK network Sky’s decision not to air a controversial episode of new show Urban Myths which had caused online ire after Joseph Fiennes was picked to play the singer.
The Jackson biopic is one of a few high-profile films announced by Lifetime at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. Viola Davis, tipped to win an Oscar next month for her role in Fences, will produce and star in the drama Custody, which premiered to lukewarm reviews at last year’s Tribeca film festival. The network will also work with James Franco for the romantic thriller High School Lover, where he will play a father trying to stop his daughter from dating an older man.