Joseph Fiennes will play Michael Jackson in what’s being billed as a lighthearted comedy, about his post 9/11 road trip with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.


The film will be released as part of an anthology called Urban Myths: A Brand New Collection of Comedies. The film follows Jackson, Taylor (Stockard Channing), and Brando (Brian Cox) as they drive cross country after airports were shut down following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Fiennes’ Jackson is mostly silent, wearing a hat and sunglasses. The group get pulled over by a patrolman in the trailer, who sees Jackson smile at him, and whispers, “Michael?”

Casting Fiennes as the King of Pop was of course a controversial choice, as Jackson was a black man, and the film has been accused of whitewashing the role. “This is territory that is sensitive,” Fiennes has said previously. “One must determine if this portrayal is one that is going to be positive entertainment, and one that will not bring about division and put anyone’s noses out of joint, so I went with the mind that this was a positive light-hearted comedy.”

“I deal in imagination, so I don’t think imagination should have rules stamped on them,” Fiennes said. “If it promotes stereotyping, then it’s wrong. I made a distinction that the Jackson project doesn’t do that.”

Sky Arts, which will broadcast the anthology in the UK told Rolling Stone, “Joseph Fiennes is cast as Michael Jackson. It is part of a series of comedies about unlikely stories from arts and cultural history. Sky Arts gives producers the creative freedom to cast roles as they wish, within the diversity framework which we have set.”

Others who appear in the anthology are Eddie Marsan as Bob DylanBen Chaplin as Cary Grant, Aidan Gillen as Dr. Timothy Leary, David Threfall as Samuel Beckett, Iwan Rheon as Adolf Hitler and Rupert Grint as “Hitler’s friend.” The stories have all been created out of urban myths revolving around the entertainment legends, such as Grant’s supposed love affair with LSD.

The series is slated to air this year, but an exact release date has not been announced. See the trailer below.

Read more about: