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Michael Jackson Music Biopic in the Works From ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Producer

  • Variety
Michael Jackson Music Biopic in the Works From ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Producer
Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King has struck a deal with the Michael Jackson estate for the pop star’s life and music rights, with plans to make a feature film based on both.

King has tapped “Gladiator” and “The Aviator” screenwriter John Logan for the project. The film currently has no studio or distributor attached. The script will not provide a “sanitized” look at the life of Jackson, accused of child sexual abuse in the explosive documentary “Leaving Neverland” this year, said a report from Deadline Hollywood, which first broke the news.

A King spokesperson confirmed the project with Variety, but would not comment on whether Logan’s script would include Jackson’s accusers — including choreographer Wade Robson and former child actor James Safechuck, both of whom had documented relationships with the late singer since childhood.

In response to “Leaving Neverland,” which won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special this year,
See full article at Variety »

Michael Jackson Estate Moonwalks Over HBO’s ‘Leaving Neverland’ Appeal, Calls Move “Bogus” & “Desperate”

  • Deadline
Michael Jackson Estate Moonwalks Over HBO’s ‘Leaving Neverland’ Appeal, Calls Move “Bogus” & “Desperate”
The dance-off over Leaving Neverland is far far from over. Less than a month after HBO lost an attempt to get the multimillion-dollar lawsuit from the estate of Michael Jackson against the Emmy-winning documentary tossed out, and saw a federal judge shift the whole matter towards arbitration, the AT&T-owned premium cabler kicked back Monday. In a short filing, HBO’s lawyers from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Llp and O’Melveny & Myers Llp notified the court that they intend to take the matter upstairs, so to speak.

“Please take notice that Defendant Home Box Office, Inc. hereby appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from this Court’s order granting Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel Arbitration (the “Order”),” Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. and Daniel Petrocelli wrote the court today in a move to dispense of Judge George Wu’s ruling of September 20 against their anti-slapp motion in the highly charged case.
See full article at Deadline »

HBO Taking Michael Jackson 'Leaving Neverland' Dispute to Appeals Court

HBO wants another shot at convincing a court that the Michael Jackson Estate can't go to arbitration over its Emmy-winning sex abuse documentary Leaving Neverland. On Monday, the pay network filed paperwork for a high-stakes appeal.

The Michael Jackson Estate is attempting to enforce a non-disparagement clause in a 1992 contract — one that provided HBO with rights to air a televised concert following the release of Jackson's album Dangerous. That contract had provisions pertaining to secrecy and non-disparagement, which the estate is seizing upon to litigate Leaving Neverland, which focuses on allegations against Jackson by Wade Robson and James Safechuck....
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

HBO Fails To Get $100M ‘Leaving Neverland’ Suit From Michael Jackson Estate Tossed – Update

  • Deadline
Update, September 23, 8:30 Am: The federal judge in the battle between HBO and the estate of Micheal Jackson over the Emmy winning documentary Leaving Neverland has made his tentative ruling now final.

In a decision filed late on September 20 (read it here), Judge George Wu reaffirms his inclination of September 19 to toss aside the premium cabler’s anti-slapp motion. Melding several other early rulings into one, the L.A.-based judge also basically sent the whole matter into arbitration as he said he would earlier this summer.

Which means, an October 3 scheduled status conference could be a real thriller – yep, I went there.

September 19, Am: The multi-million-dollar attack on the controversial Leaving Neverland documentary and HBO by Michael Jackson’s estate will dance on, at least for the time being.

In a tentative ruling in federal court this morning, the always contemplative Judge George Wu said he’s leaning towards
See full article at Deadline »

Judge Allows Michael Jackson Estate to Go Forward With $100 Million Lawsuit Against HBO

  • The Wrap
Judge Allows Michael Jackson Estate to Go Forward With $100 Million Lawsuit Against HBO
A judge’s tentative ruling Thursday will allow Michael Jackson’s estate to continue its $100 million lawsuit against HBO for airing the documentary “Leaving Neverland.”

U.S. District Court Judge George Wu is expected to issue a final decision at the end of September.

The Jackson estate filed the lawsuit against HBO in February on the grounds that the “Leaving Neverland” documentary violated the terms of a non-disparagement clause of a 1992 agreement that granted HBO the right to air video from his “Dangerous” tour.

HBO filed a motion in August asking that the estate’s lawsuit be dismissed, citing the First Amendment. The documentary details accusations by Wade Robson and James Safechuck that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children.

“The estate will never stop until justice has been obtained,” said Bryan J. Freedman, a representative for the Jackson estate.

Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Jackson estate, told TheWrap
See full article at The Wrap »

Judge Declines HBO’s Request to Throw Out ‘Leaving Neverland’ Lawsuit, Sides With Michael Jackson’s Estate

  • Indiewire
Judge Declines HBO’s Request to Throw Out ‘Leaving Neverland’ Lawsuit, Sides With Michael Jackson’s Estate
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with an additional statement from the Jackson estate.

The Michael Jackson estate and HBO may be headed to public arbitration in their dispute over the “Leaving Neverland” documentary after a federal judge Thursday declined HBO’s request to throw out the case.

The late pop star’s estate sued HBO after the documentary, which profiles James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who said they were sexually abused by Jackson as boys, first aired earlier this year. It claimed the network in airing the film violated a non-disparagement agreement from a 1992 concert film made during Jackson’s “Dangerous” tour.

Federal Judge George Wu on Thursday issued a tentative ruling denying HBO’s request to dismiss the case. He’s expected to make a final ruling by the end of the month, Variety reported. HBO attorney Theodore Boutrous claimed the Jackson estate had filed the
See full article at Indiewire »

Michael Jackson's Estate Slams Leaving Neverland's 2019 Emmy Win

Michael Jackson's Estate Slams Leaving Neverland's 2019 Emmy Win
Michael Jackson's estate is not mincing words about this 2019 Emmy win.  On Saturday, Leaving Neverland, the headline-making two-part documentary directed and produced by Dan Reed and distributed by HBO and Channel 4, took home the 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Documentary/Nonfiction Special. The documentary, which was released widely in March, focused on Wade Robson and James Safechuck and their allegations against Jackson of sexual abuse.  "This has been quite a journey for this doc," Reed reportedly said as he accepted the award, according to Deadline. "None of this would have been possible without the incredible courage and determination of Wade and James and their...
See full article at E! Online »

‘Leaving Neverland’ Director Calls Dave Chappelle’s Jokes About Michael Jackson Accusers ‘Revolting’

  • The Wrap
‘Leaving Neverland’ Director Calls Dave Chappelle’s Jokes About Michael Jackson Accusers ‘Revolting’
Dan Reed, who won an Emmy Saturday night for “Leaving Neverland,” said he was “physically sick” when he heard Dave Chappelle’s jokes about not believing Michael Jackson’s accusers.

“You can make comedy out of so many other things. Why not do something brave instead of crapping on a victim of child rape?” Reed said backstage Saturday after his Emmy win for Documentary or Non-Fiction Special at the Creative Arts Emmys.

Reed, who usually makes films about war, said he was trying to move away from such dark subject matter when he sat down to interview Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who say Jackson molested them when they were boys. Reed shared their stories in his HBO documentary.

Also Read: Michael Jackson's Molestation Trial: 10 Bizarre Details You Didn't Know or Totally Forgot

Reed said Chappelle’s jokes in the new Netflix special “Sticks and Stones” — which included
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Leaving Neverland’ Wins Best Doc Emmy; Director Dan Reed Salutes The “Incredible Courage” Of Men Who Came Forward

  • Deadline
Acclaimed HBO documentary Leaving Neverland took home the gold for best documentary or nonfiction special at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, and director and producer Dan Reed was quick to give credit to the brave young men who came forward and spoke out so candidly about the sexual abuses they had suffered.

“This has been quite a journey for this doc,” Reed said, as he accepted the award on stage. “It began with an obscure reference in a web page to two young men I’d never heard of before.”

Leaving Neverland explores the testimony of two young men: Australian dancer and choreographer Wade Robson and Californian James Safechuck. Both were drawn into Michael Jackson’s inner circle and said they were abused by him at the ages of seven and 10 respectively.

“None of this would have been possible without the incredible courage and determination of Wade and James and their families,
See full article at Deadline »

‘Leaving Neverland’ Wins Emmy for Top Documentary Special

  • Indiewire
‘Leaving Neverland’ Wins Emmy for Top Documentary Special
Adding to an acclaim-filled 2019, “Leaving Neverland” took home the top award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special at Saturday night’s Creative Arts Emmys.

The two-part series chronicles the accounts of James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who each allege that as children they were victims of sexual abuse by Michael Jackson. Each of them recount their experiences, explaining the pattern of action and manipulation they say culminated in criminal and predatory action on Jackson’s part.

Accepting the award at Saturday evening’s ceremony was director Dan Reed, who was also nominated in the Documentary/Nonfiction Directing category as well. The film was nominated for three additional awards: Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.

Other nominees in the category include Chris Smith’s Netflix project “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,” HBO’s “Jane Fonda in Five Acts”; “Love, Gilda,” the CNN film on original “Saturday Night Live” cast
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Leaving Neverland’ Director Fires Back At Dave Chappelle’s ‘Sticks & Stones’ Comments

  • Deadline
‘Leaving Neverland’ Director Fires Back At Dave Chappelle’s ‘Sticks & Stones’ Comments
Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed had some choice words for Dave Chappelle this evening on the red carpet at the Creative Arts Emmys.

Reed was responding to Chappelle’s scathing comments about the film in his latest Netflix special, Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones.

“I don’t think Dave Chappelle was very funny or clever to do what he did. You know, mocking kids who were raped by famous people, its like: Is that funny?” Reed said.

“Some people think it’s funny, but I don’t want this film to be positioned as part of the sort of ‘Cancel Culture,’” added the director, whose HBO docuseries investigated the alleged sex abuse of minors by Michael Jackson, at the height of the singer’s career.

“[Jackson] has been dead a long time, his music’s out there. There’s nothing in the film that says, ‘Don’t listen to Michael Jackson.’ There
See full article at Deadline »

Emmys: Sexual Abuse Film 'Leaving Neverland' Wins Best Doc or Nonfiction Special

HBO's Leaving Neverland won best documentary or nonfiction special at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday night.

Dan Reed directed the four-hour film, which featured testimony from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who claim to have suffered childhood sexual abuse at the hands of the late Michael Jackson.

Backstage, Reed explained that prior to taking on the project, he didn't know much about Jackson, nor did he have an opinion if Jackson was "guilty or innocent." 

"I thought the two guys [Robson and Safechuck] would never speak out in front of camera,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Michael Jackson Accuser Wade Robson Fires Back at Dave Chappelle Over Assault Victim Jokes

Michael Jackson Accuser Wade Robson Fires Back at Dave Chappelle Over Assault Victim Jokes
Wade Robson, the dancer and choreographer who appeared in HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” documentary and accused Michael Jackson of child abuse, has issued a statement via The Wrap condemning Dave Chappelle over comments made in the comedian’s new Netflix special, “Sticks & Stones.” Chappelle’s latest Netflix stand-up debuted August 26 and courted controversy during a bit in which the comedian discusses Michael Jackson and R. Kelly’s abuse.

“I’m going to say something I’m not allowed to say, but I gotta be real: I don’t believe these motherfuckers,” Chappelle said about Jackson’s two accusers, Robson and James Safechuck. The comedian was not as doubtful when it came to addressing R. Kelly’s accusers, saying, “If I’m a betting man, I’m putting my money on he probably did that shit.”

Robson reacted to Chappelle’s comments by telling The Wrap, “Whether Dave Chappelle believes I
See full article at Indiewire »

Michael Jackson Accusers Criticize Dave Chappelle’s Joke About Not Believing Them

  • The Wrap
Michael Jackson Accusers Criticize Dave Chappelle’s Joke About Not Believing Them
Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who accused Michael Jackson of molesting them as a children in HBO’s documentary “Leaving Neverland,” criticized Dave Chappelle on Wednesday for saying in his new Netflix stand-up special “Sticks & Stones” that he doesn’t believe Jackson abused them.

In the joke, Chappelle refers to “Leaving Neverland,” and says, “I’m gonna say something that I’m not allowed to say. But I gotta be real. I don’t believe these motherf—ers. I do not believe them.”

The special premiered Monday. By nature, comedy specials mix truth with jokes that aren’t meant to be taken seriously. But Robson and Safechuck both said they were worried that Chappelle’s routine will make victims of sexual abuse doubt people will believe them if they come forward.

Also Read: Michael Jackson Accuser Wade Robson Criticizes MTV's 'Unfortunate Choice' to Keep Jackson's Name on Vanguard Award
See full article at The Wrap »

MTV VMAs: 5 Things You Didn’t See on TV (Photos & Video)

  • The Wrap
MTV VMAs: 5 Things You Didn’t See on TV (Photos & Video)
The 2019 MTV VMAs rocked Newark, New Jersey, on Monday, when Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande added more Moonmen to their probably humongous trophy rooms.

But you already knew that. Below are five things TheWrap witnessed from inside — and outside, so much going on outside — the Prudential Center.

Water, Water Everywhere – But Not a (Clean) Drop to Drink?

When we arrived at the MTV VMAs, we were greeted(?) by a couple dozen protestors representing the Newark Water Coalition.

The group’s peaceful march forced police to shut down Edison Street in Newark, which is where the press parking was. Cops wouldn’t even let these reporters walk down Edison Street to get to the press check-in. One of us ended up getting our tickets passed through a slit in some parking lot fencing by an MTV media liaison doing their best under tough circumstances. Meanwhile, enterprising members of the media who
See full article at The Wrap »

Dave Chappelle Slams Michael Jackson ‘Leaving Neverland’ Accusers In Netflix Comedy Special

  • Deadline
Dave Chappelle Slams Michael Jackson ‘Leaving Neverland’ Accusers In Netflix Comedy Special
Dave Chappelle is stirring up controversy, mincing no words in a critique of Michael Jackson’s accusers featured in HBO’s Leaving Neverland documentary, in his new Netflix comedy special.

“I don’t believe those motherf***ers,” Chappelle said in his Sticks & Stones special referring to Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim in the HBO documentary that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. “Don’t watch it … it’s f***ing gross … really nasty s**t,” Chappelle added.

“I don’t think he did it, but you know what? Even if he did do it … you know what I mean?” he pauses for audience laughter. “I mean, it’s Michael Jackson. I know more than half the people in this room have been molested in their lives, but it wasn’t no goddamn Michael Jackson, was it?”

Jackson’s accusers aren’t Chappelle’s only targets in the special,
See full article at Deadline »

Dave Chappelle Doesn’t Believe Michael Jackson Accusers, Defends ‘Cancelled’ Celebrities

  • Variety
Dave Chappelle Doesn’t Believe Michael Jackson Accusers, Defends ‘Cancelled’ Celebrities
Dave Chappelle doesn’t waste any time wading into controversy in his latest Netflix comedy special: the comedian doubts the Michael Jackson accusers, talks Kevin Hart’s Oscars controversy, discusses Louis C.K. and R. Kelly’s sexual misconduct allegations and makes fun of trans people in “Sticks and Stones,” which dropped Monday.

“I don’t believe these motherf—ers,” says Chappelle of Jimmy Safechuck and Wade Robson, the two men who accused Michael Jackson of sexual abuse. Of the documentary “Leaving Neverland” that details their allegations: “Don’t watch it. It’s f–ing gross.” Although Chappelle says he doesn’t believe the accusers, he imagines a scenario where Jackson is guilty. “I mean, it’s Michael Jackson. I know more than half the people in this room have been molested in their lives, but it wasn’t no goddamn Michael Jackson, was it? This kid got his d–k
See full article at Variety »

Dave Chappelle Slams Michael Jackson Accusers in Netflix Special: ‘I Don’t Believe Those Motherf*ckers’

Dave Chappelle Slams Michael Jackson Accusers in Netflix Special: ‘I Don’t Believe Those Motherf*ckers’
Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix comedy special “Sticks & Stones” is stirring up controversy over a new batch of jokes relating to Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, and the Lgbtq community, among other topics (via USA Today). The stand-up comedian is used to courting backlash over polarizing jokes and comments made during his specials and such is the case when he says he does not believe Michael Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck. The two men were the subjects of the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which detailed Jackson’s alleged child abuse throughout his career.

“I’m going to say something I’m not allowed to say, but I gotta be real: I don’t believe these motherfuckers,” Chappelle says during “Sticks & Stones” about Jackson’s alleged victims. The comedian is not as doubtful when it comes to R. Kelly’s accusers, saying, “If I’m a betting man, I’m
See full article at Indiewire »

How to Watch or Livestream the 2019 MTV VMAs

  • The Wrap
How to Watch or Livestream the 2019 MTV VMAs
The 2019 MTV VMAs will get off to a hot start tonight, with Taylor Swift opening the show from Newark, NJ’s Prudential Center.

Those with cable subscriptions will have no shortage of destinations on which to catch her and the rest of the show, but what about cord-cutters and cord-nevers? Don’t fret, we haven’t forgotten about you.

Budget-savvy millennials do not have to miss Taylor performing “Lover” — that is, so long as they follow some of these steps.
See full article at The Wrap »

John Travolta, Jonathan Van Ness, Ice-t and More Among First MTV VMAs Presenters (Exclusive)

  • The Wrap
John Travolta, Jonathan Van Ness, Ice-t and More Among First MTV VMAs Presenters (Exclusive)
John Travolta, “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness, Ice-t, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lenny Kravitz, Lindsey Vonn, Rick Ross, Salt N’ Pepa and others will be among the first wave of presenters at Mondays MTV VMAs in Newark, NJ, TheWrap has learned exclusively.

Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris, members of the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, will also hand out Moonmen next week, as will Bebe Rexha, Megan Thee Stallion, French Montana, Hailee Steinfeld, P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils, and ESPN NFL analyst Victor Cruz, who won a Super Bowl with the New Jersey-based New York Giants.

The 2019 VMAs will be hosted by comedian Sebastian Maniscalco, at Newark’s Prudential Center, starting at 8/7c. The pre-show kicks off an hour earlier.

Also Read: Michael Jackson Accuser Wade Robson Criticizes MTV's 'Unfortunate Choice' to Keep Jackson's Name on Vanguard Award (Exclusive)

Missy Elliott
See full article at The Wrap »
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