In today’s ummm, really? news, British actor Joseph Fiennes has been cast as the King of Pop in an upcoming TV movie about a road-trip Michael Jackson supposedly took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando just after 9/11.
Here’s how the Guardian breaks it down:
Details of the improbable trip emerged in 2011 when it was reported in Vanity Fair. The story goes that Jackson invited the pair to his concert at Madison Square Garden. Following the 9/11 attacks, when air travel to and from New York was cancelled, the trio rented a car and began their quest back to California. “They actually got as far as Ohio – all three of them, in a car they drove themselves,” claimed a former employee of Jackson. Brando apparently insisted on stopping off at various fast food restaurants en route.
However, it may be a shaggy-dog story. One of Taylor’s assistants told Vanity Fair that the actor stayed behind in New York, visiting Ground Zero and praying in a church.
After being originally announced in December, Fiennes has now described the script as “a challenge”, adding: “It’s a fun, lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek road trip of what celebrity of that kind is like. But also it’s rather beautiful and poignant about their relationships.”
The TV special will run on Sky Arts, and also stars Stockard Channing as Taylor and Brian Cox as Brando.
Interestingly enough, the Guardian article doesn’t even mention the fact that Fiennes, a white man, was cast as Jackson, a Black man (yes, even with his vitiligo and cosmetic surgery).
Perhaps the choice to pick Fiennes furthers the comedic element of the film, or maybe, “it don’t matter if you’re black or white” if you’re playing the King of Pop.