So, here's an interesting development: Warner Bros. TV and JJ Abrams' Bad Robot are teaming up to develop a limited television series about Michael Jackson's final days. The series will be based on Tavis Smiley's forthcoming novel, Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days (which, whattayaknow, hits book stores tomorrow).
"Novel, did you say?"
Yes. Here's how The Wrap is describing Smiley's book:
The novel, which will be published Tuesday, is described as a novelistic rendering of the final months in the life of one of the most iconic figures in modern popular culture. The book examines the soaring highs and deep lows faced by the late pop star — his constant hunt for privacy in a life that was more public than almost any other, and the pressures he endured as someone whose fame made him socially fragile and almost unable to live.
Smiley will be joining Abrams as an executive producer on the series, alongside Ben Stephenson and David Brewington. As a mildly interesting aside, this is actually the second Smiley book to be picked up for development by Bad Robot, who will also produce an event series based on Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year.
Before You Judge Me joins Starburns Industries' Bubbles (a stop-motion film about Jackson's most famous pet, based on a script by Charlie Kaufman) and the as-yet-untitled British TV movie being made about Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando's wacky, post-9/11 roadtrip. I suspect that we have many, many MJ-centric projects to look forward to in the years ahead.
What do I think of Before You Judge Me? Sounds questionable, but I also remember thinking American Crime Story: The People V OJ Simpson sounded like a bad idea, so what do I know?