Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson Film BROOKLYN LOVES MJ Not Happening?
* January 26, 2011 12:46 pm
In recent years, Spike Lee’s political interests have, broadly speaking, overwhelmed his desire to create feature films, and his output has been dominated with documentaries, notably his investigation into the lives of post-hurricane Katrina New Orleans. His most recent fiction was itself based on true events- The Miracle of St Anna- and gained far less critical and commercial success than it deserved.
Most recently mooted has been a movie inspired by Michael Jackson. Titled Brooklyn Loves MJ, the movie was expected to “examine the potential community impact of a tribute concert and neighborhood celebration in Michael Jackson’s memory, as this fictional event might occur in a re-gentrified area of Brooklyn, New York.”
Lee is a big fan of the “King of Pop” and recently staged a “community block party” in Brooklyn in memory of the late singer’s birthday. However, perhaps Lee had never intended to film a biopic – a reader of The Playlist recently claiming that the director told a crowd in Chicago at a Jan 18th Martin Luther King celebration that “It’s not happening” when asked directly the status of the project.
Sadly those who remember Lee’s outstanding film about the life of Malcolm X will be aware of how well he takes to the medium.
Last Spring, as the Brooklyn Loves MJ script was doing the customary speculative rounds of producers and investors, it was copied and leaked onto the internet, and eventually published on numerous, magazines, forums and blogs before Lee’s legal team was able to eliminate the majority of raw information.
Subsequently, however, frequent leaks from producers and their mutual friends have fuelled the weight of rumours that the film has been shelved indefinitely.
Whatever the reason, Lee will be disappointed to abandon- if only temporarily- a piece that would have allowed him to indulge his passion for the music of Jackson with his ongoing interest in contemporary American race relations. In terms of a personal friendship, Lee and Jackson were frequent collaborators over the years, and most recently Lee directed the music video for This Is It;
Lee’s most likely movie appears to be Nagasaki Deadline, a far more conventional narrative about an FBI agent and his efforts to avert terrorist plots on America.