Joseph Fiennes is set to play pop legend Michael Jackson in a bizarre ‘road trip’ drama involving the late star, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.
The drama, which is being made as a one-off for Sky Arts, will also star Brian Cox as Brando, and Stockard Channing as Taylor.
It’s based on perhaps one of the most brilliantly intriguing – and strangely improbable – stories of celebrity friendship ever.
According to a now mythic report published in Vanity Fair in 2011, Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando, who were all friends, all hired a car together to escape New York for Calinfornia following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, during which all air travel was curtailed.
A former employee of Jackson claimed that the trio 'got as far as Ohio – all three of them, in a car they drove themselves’.
Progress, however, was said to have been slowed by Brando’s frequent requests to stop at fast food restaurants along the way.
The story has been denied by Taylor’s people, who say that she stayed in New York, visited Ground Zero and prayed in a church.
But the notion of the story has patently been too much to resist, with Fiennes, brother of Ralph and best known of late for his role in ‘American Horror Story’, saying that the project is 'a challenge’.
“It’s a fun, lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek road trip of what celebrity of that kind is like. But also it’s rather beautiful and poignant about their relationships,” he said.
The film is being written by Neil Forsyth, known for his literary alter ego Bob Servant, and is being produced by 'Royle Family’ star Ralf Little’s production company.
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