Joseph Fiennes Cast as…Michael Jackson? Are You Kidding Me? (Actually, It’s Not Quite as It Seems)

Has Joseph Fiennes been cast to play the role of Michael Jackson in a movie? Yes. Are the people behind this serious? Well, not really.

Urban Myths: A Brand New Collection of Comedies is just that. More specifically, it’s a re-imagining of a road trip Michael Jackson took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brandon after 9/11. All the airports had been shut down after the attacks and the trio attempt to drive across the country to get him.

Surreal? You bet. The movie is described as an anthology of “true…ish stories” that have morphed into urban legends. And it’s supposed to be a comedy, too.

But isn’t this another example of “whitewashing” a role meant for a person of colour? Sky Arts, the company that will broadcast the movie in the UK had this to say.

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.

In other words, the whole project is supposed to be ridiculous. Other stories within the film involved Cary Grant taking LSD, another about Hitler’s special friend and Bob Dylan frantically searching for a guy named “Dave.”

Check out the trailer. (Via Tom)


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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