The movie "Michael" is causing controversy even though it hasn't been released yet

The biographical film about Michael Jackson has not even been released, but it is already causing controversy because the creators of the film promise the uncensored truth, TMZ reports

by Sededin Dedovic
The movie "Michael" is causing controversy even though it hasn't been released yet
© Pool / Getty Images

The upcoming Michael Jackson biopic, simply titled "Michael," is causing controversy even before its release. While the creators promise an unfiltered look at the life of the King of Pop, the film's portrayal of child abuse allegations against Jackson has become a hotbed of debate, TMZ reports.

"Michael" is positioned as an honest exploration of Jackson's life, highlighting both his undeniable talent and the personal struggles he faced. However, the specter of abuse allegations leveled by Wade Robson and James Safechuck looms large.

The allegations, which Jackson vehemently denied until his death in 2009, remain unresolved as Robson and Safechuck's lawsuit against the Jackson estate continues. Michael Jackson is one of the biggest stars of all time and a person who left a deep mark on the culture not only of the USA but also of the whole world.

But even after his death, attempts to discredit this legend continue to live on. Director Dan Reed stated that he intended to portray Jackson's interactions with the children in a positive light. This attitude is cause for concern, given the seriousness of the allegations.

Adding fuel to the fire is the involvement of John Branco, Jackson's former lawyer, as a producer. When discussing the film's handling of the controversy, Reed reportedly felt the script was more of an homage to Jackson. Production on "Michael" was originally pushed back to 2023 due to a labor dispute within the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).

Filming began earlier this year, and Jaafar Jackson, the late singer's nephew, took the lead role. The highly-anticipated biopic is set to hit US theaters on April 18, 2025. Universal Pictures has yet to announce a release date for international markets.

The controversy surrounding "Michael" underscores the challenge of portraying the complex and troubled figure of a pop icon, and we'll see how that plays out when the film is finally released. Whether the film can offer a balanced perspective that acknowledges Jackson's musical genius while also confronting the serious allegations against him will be difficult. One thing is certain, Michael is still a world music legend and his name will attract audiences to movie theaters.