I’ve wanted a Michael Jackson movie ever since the King of Pop passed away in 2009, and we’re finally getting one in 2025 by Antoine Fuqua. Not only that, but Michael Jackson’s nephew, Jaafar, will be playing the lead role.
And you know what? I’m thrilled about the news. I’ve been an MJ fan my entire life (though his movie, Moonwalker, scarred me as a child), and I can’t wait to see a detailed look into the man’s beautiful (and yet controversial) life.
However, there are certain things that I do want to see in this upcoming movie, and things that I don’t want to see. Here are just a few.
Do Want To See: Michael Jackson’s Struggle On The Way To His Breakthrough, Off The Wall
Did you know that Michael Jackson has a few solo albums that predate Off the Wall? Got to Be There, Ben, Music & Me, and Forever, Michael, all came out before Jackson’s breakthrough album, Off the Wall, and I want to see that period of uncertainty in his life.
What I mainly want to see is the struggle, though. A lot of people typically think of young Michael in the Jackson 5, and then his work on Off the Wall and everything afterward. But, I really want to see him in that period where he didn’t know if he’d be a megawatt star on his own.
For example, Forever, Michael, which was the album that came out right before Off the Wall, came in at number 101 on the Billboard charts (though, it came in at number 10 in Soul albums). Not only that, but it didn’t even chart in other countries.
I mean, can you imagine how heartbroken he must have been to see that his career seemed to be flagging at that point? A great part of why his other albums didn’t seem to be hitting was because they sounded too much like his work with the Jackson 5, and Off the Wall was his first collaboration with Quincy Jones (who had a hand in a lot of different up-and-comers). So, this struggle would be really awesome to see. However, speaking of the Jackson 5…
Don’t Want To See: Too Much Time With The Jackson Five
I know. How can you have a Michael Jackson movie that doesn’t feature a whole section dedicated to the Jackson 5? But, let me explain. I like biopics, but I don’t typically love them. For example, take a movie like Ray. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, and I enjoy it.
But, the part that I don’t really care for is when we see Ray Charles’ childhood, brief as it is. The same goes for Walk the Line, which, you know, is another great movie, but I don’t like that we see Johnny Cash’s childhood, even though I know it impacts him much later in life.
However, I don’t feel like I need to see that for Jackson. I also don’t really want to see how abusive his upbringing tended to be.
Now, I’m not saying that this movie should ignore all of those things, but I honestly want this biopic to be similar to something like Selma, which I consider one of the greatest biopics and social justice movies of all time.
What makes Selma so effective is that it doesn’t so much focus on MLK, as it focuses on a specific event that MLK was involved with, which makes sense, because the movie is titled Selma, not Martin Luther King, Jr.
In that way, I would like this upcoming movie to focus more on a single, important moment in his career, rather than from his childhood all the way to his untimely demise. And even though I know his brothers will appear as characters in the film at some point (they’ve even already casted a young Michael Jackson), I’m actually more interested in his sisters, namely one in particular.
Do Want To See: His Relationship With Janet, Especially When She Was Getting Big
While we’ve definitely seen Janet Jackson in movies, like the Tyler Perry flick, Why Did I Get Married? (which was fine), we haven’t gotten a Janet Jackson movie that’s actually about her life. I’m not saying that this biopic should be the Michael and Janet movie, I do often wonder how Michael felt when his younger sister, Janet, was blowing up on the charts.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, I’d love to see this movie in a specific time period, with that period being just before Off the Wall, to somewhere around when the siblings recorded “Scream.” I think that would encompass a large portion of his career, from megastardom, to the point where he was kind of falling off in relevance, but hadn’t fallen off completely yet.
That’s the Michael Jackson biopic that I want to see. But, I’ll tell you what else I don’t want to see in this time period.
Don’t Want To See: His Romantic Relationships
I’ll tell you what. If you look in the dictionary for the word “cringe,” there will be a picture of Michael Jackson kissing Lisa Marie Presley at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. All jokes aside though, I honestly do not want to see that again, or really any of Jackson’s romantic relationships.
It’s not because I don’t want to see a more human and vulnerable side of MJ, because I do. I definitely do. But, there are some things about his life that are still a little mysterious, even today, and I think his relationships should be one of them. Like, I don’t want to see him scoping out some “good fish back there.” I’m sorry, but I just don’t.
Do Want To See: His Struggles With His Skin Condition
One thing that I always tire of hearing is people saying, “I liked MJ better when he was Black.” And I still hear that. Constantly. Some people say it for different reasons. For some, they mean they liked his music better when he was younger. For others, they mean they thought Michael Jackson changed when he started using skin-bleaching creams and make-ups to mask his vitiligo.
But, I always found those comments to be super insensitive. For whatever reason, Jackson decided to alter his skin tone and get plastic surgery, and that was really up to him alone. But, I would definitely want to see that aspect in the movie, as I want to know more about how it made him feel to get such criticism and attention, outside of his music.
We see glimpses of this when he had his interview with Oprah, and she broached the topic of his skin, but I would definitely want to see more about how it must have affected him mentally when he was getting all of that backlash.
However, that’s as far as I want to see the movie go when it comes to the darker side of Michael. Because Jackson’s family is involved, it probably won’t get into the child molestation allegations, and if it doesn’t, there’s already a whole HBO documentary about that, so it’s not like that information isn’t already out there.
Don’t Want To See: His Death
I remember exactly where I was when I heard that Michael Jackson died. I was in a car with my then-girlfriend-now-wife on the way to Boston. It was a long trip, and we heard on the radio that actress Farrah Fawcett had just died. I remember thinking, “Wow. She had cancer, didn’t she? That’s sad.”
But, on the same car ride, somebody came on the radio and said that there were reports that Jackson may have died, and I couldn’t believe it. I just seriously couldn’t. I asked my girlfriend to stop the car, and when she pulled to the side of the road, we just sat there, waiting to hear if the reports were true. And, of course they were.
That’s why I don’t want to see anything related to that in the movie. We all know he died, and we don’t need to see it. So, if there’s any one thing I definitely don’t want to see in this movie, it’s his death. I don’t think I could stomach it again.
Are you excited for this film? For more news on all things MJ-related, be sure to swing by here often!