Joseph Fiennes has been tapped to play Michael Jackson in a British TV movie about the King of Pop trying to get out of New York with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but the casting announcement has caused a furor on social media.
Fiennes, best known for "Shakespeare In Love," told the WENN blog
that the script was "a challenge" and the story is seemingly based on the probable urban legend that all three stars were together in a rental car driving from New York to Los Angeles after the 9/11 attacks shut down air travel.
"It's a lovely thing about Michael's relationship with Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando," Fiennes, brother of Oscar-nominated British actor Ralph Fiennes, told WENN. "It's a fun, light-hearted tongue in cheek road trip of what celebrity of that kind is like. But also it's rather beautiful and poignant about their relationships as well."
The dramatized story for Sky Arts also stars Stockard Channing as Taylor and Brian Cox as Brando, according to The Guardian
. According to the original, possibly fictitious story, which was detailed in a 2011 Vanity Fair article
, the trio only made it as far as Ohio.
While the plotline is quirky enough, it is the casting of Fiennes, a Caucasian British actor, playing Jackson, an African-American who had vitiligo, that has raised some eyebrows on social media.
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