First trailer lands for controversial Michael Jackson abuse documentary 'Leaving Neverland'

The first trailer for the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland has landed.

The co-production between HBO and Channel 4 premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to a whirlwind of controversy.

Made by BATFA-winning director Dan Reed, it pivots on interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim they were sexually abused by Jackson when they were aged seven and 10.

Running in two parts over nearly four hours, critics who saw the film at Sundance described feeling ‘shell-shocked’ by the footage.

The Jackson estate has slammed the film.

In a statement, the Jackson family called it a ‘character assassination’ and a ‘lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson’.

Leaving Neverland (Credit: HBO/Channel 4)
Leaving Neverland (Credit: HBO/Channel 4)

“The film takes uncorroborated allegations that supposedly happened 20 years ago and treats them as fact,” it added.

HBO boss Casey Bloys recently said that a 10-page letter from the family, in which it laid out its concerns over the film’s accuracy, will not affect plans to air it.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: “The show is airing. It’s not changing because of the letter and I ask that everybody watch it and decide for themselves. It’s a very, very powerful documentary and I think once they see it, they’ll understand.”

It will air on Channel 4 over two nights, 6 March and 7 March, at 9pm.

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