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In a Sign That 2016 Will Be Very Weird, Joseph Fiennes Is Cast to Play Michael Jackson in a Film

Yes, this is not a random jumble of words. It’s true. The Shakespeare in Love actor has been cast to play the King of Pop in the weirdest road movie ever: Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, about the infamous road trip that Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando took after 9/11, trying to return to Los Angeles from NYC. Apparently the trio made it as far as Ohio.

The film is not a feature but a 22-minute short by Sky Arts, a cable channel in the U.K. But still, given that this is a highly sensitive year, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not nominate any person of color for an Oscar in the lead and supporting actor categories, the casting news has caused an uproar on social media.


Speaking with Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, Fiennes insisted the film is “not in any way malicious. It’s actually endearing.” Fiennes told ET, “[Jackson] definitely had an issue—a pigmentation issue—and that’s something I do believe. He was probably closer to my color than his original color.”

FYI, Stockard Channing is playing Elizabeth Taylor, and Brian Cox is playing Marlon Brando.

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