By Robyn Collins
Michael Jackson’s estate has released a statement emphasizing that it did not sanction upcoming Netflix or Lifetime TV projects based on the life of the singer.
The estate added that they have several projects in development, that “respect, honor and celebrate Michael’s life and legacy.”
Last week, Lifetime TV revealed a trailer for their film, Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland, which is based on the book, Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days, written by the singer’s bodyguards, Bill Whitefield and Javon Beard. Jackson impersonator Navi is slated to star as the late pop idol.
Also, Netflix is reportedly closing a deal for a script on the life of the singer — from the perspective of his pet monkey, Bubbles.
The Jackson estate statement implied that it would pursue litigation if the projects go forward since the films seek to exploit the artist’s legacy and make unauthorized use of Jackson’s music, images, videos and other official movies.
Full statement from the Michael Jackson Estate:
“To clear up any confusion or misperceptions about unsanctioned Michael Jackson projects currently in the news — including a Lifetime television movie and an animated film script recently purchased by Netflix — the Estate of Michael Jackson does not license or permit the use of any rights it owns, including to Michael’s music, images, video and films, for use in unauthorized works seeking to exploit Michael’s legacy. The Estate itself has numerous projects in development, all of which respect, honor and celebrate Michael’s life and legacy along with his extraordinary artistry that touched fans throughout the world. When the executors are ready to announce them, they will. As Michael said countless times about his own work, the quality goes in before the name goes on.”