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Sky preps Michael Jackson roadtrip drama

Joseph Fiennes is to play Michael Jackson in a one-off drama for Sky Arts that will immortalise an outlandish roadtrip the singer took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.

Jackson invited Taylor and Brando to attend his concert at Madison Square Garden in September 2011, but after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, the trio hired a rental car and drove across the country in a bid to get home.

The celebrities made it to Ohio, reportedly stopping off at a number of KFCs and Burger Kings en route to sate Brando, before flying back to California.

Now Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes and Stockard Channing will respectively star as Brando, Jackson and Taylor in the 30-minute dramatisation.

Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon is produced for the pay-TV broadcaster’s Playhouse Presents strand by Ralf Little’s indie Little Rock Pictures.

It marks the Sky Vision-backed company’s first commission since it was established earlier this month by the Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and former Sprout Pictures chief operating officer Zoë Rocha.

The drama was commissioned by Sky Arts director Phil Edgar Jones and written by Delete This At Your Peril’s Neil Forsyth and directed by Ben Palmer.

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Readers' comments (5)

  • The failure to cast a black actor as Michael Jackson is an utter disgrace. How can anyone believe that Sky is serious about diversity after this announcement?

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  • The failure to cast a black actor as Michael Jackson is an utter disgrace. How can anyone believe that Sky is serious about diversity after this announcement?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Even worse: Brian Cox as Brando? Brian. Cox?...

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  • What a pile of S*** because this was pulled from someone's...

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  • The exodus of black uk talent continues: http://ind.pn/1OonpRp
    Thanks to Directors UK for showing the reality facing BAME TV directors in the UK. The situation is terrible for BAME independent drama producers too. The lack of diversity in the industry needs to be addressed at the business end of the chain.

    In a recent BBC interview, JJ Abrams described how important it was for him to have a diverse cast. He acted on his words and cast John Boyega - a BAME actor from the UK. Deeds must reflect words if anything is to change. White actors should not be cast as black characters. Are we really going back to the days of the minstrels in 2016?

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