Michael Jackson. The man, the musical icon, the legend. His is a well known story, one that we have read over and over in magazines, newspapers, and seen references of him and his music in movies, the way he revolutionized MTV, and even celebrated his eccentricities as a dad. Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland is the latest biopic that will be based on the book, Remember the Time: The last Days of Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland is scripted by Elizabeth Hunter, directed by Dianne Houston and produced by Suzanne de Passe, Madison Jones and Robert Teitel. In this upcoming film, it will concentrate on the human part of the late pop star, where Jackson spends time with his children. In fact, it can be said that he found respite and relief from the outside world by retreating into his personal cocoon, regardless of how knee-deep he is in debt.
Intimate moments with his children is just one aspect of Searching For Neverland, as the camera lenses will also focus on the financial difficulties that Jackson had gotten himself into. What better way to make money than to go on a tour? Unfortunately, Jackson’s shaky financial position was one that indirectly led him to his early demise, as he was rehearsing for the “This Is It” tour.
Many fans only have official information from news reports about Jackson’s death, and perhaps Searching for Neverland might be able to lead to a more satisfying closure for them and their beloved king of pop. Michael Jackson’s trusted bodyguards, Bill Whitfield (played by Chad Coleman) and Javon Beard (played by Sam Adegoke) will narrate the story, breaking down whatever prejudices or negative perception that we have of Jackson as we see the level of devotion that Jackson had for his kids.
Navi is an actor who has already gained a reputation for being in Michael Jackson: The Inside Story – What Killed the King of Pop?. His role there had been stellar a Jackson impersonator, and hence it is not surprising that Navi has been recalled to step into the glittering dance shoes of Jackson yet again in Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland. For every day of the shoot, Navi had to sit down for four hours to get his hair and makeup right in order to deliver a startling resemblance to the king of pop himself.
Navi shared, “We get an insight to his life as a normal person. We see what he went through during his everyday life and how he dealt with it. He was a powerful singer that had the ability to unite nations so whether you are or aren’t a fan of Jackson, you owe it to yourself to watch this movie because it shows the true Michael Jackson. It will show Jackson’s love for his children, how he could be himself with his kids, and play games with them. The film also deals with his sexuality, dependency on painkillers, financial issues, insecurities, and other family relationships.”
He was overjoyed to be selected to play the role of Jackson, something that he is still coming to terms with. I suppose it is the same feeling that Tom Holland had when was picked to play Spiderman in Avengers: Civil War, teaming up with the actors who played the superheroes he admired on the silver screen when he was younger. However, Jackson is larger than life, and was a real person and not from the fictional realm, so hats off to Navi.
Navi continued, “I didn’t do this project from a business point of view, I did this project from my heart, from a Michael Jackson fan’s point of view. I am absolutely amazed at the power this man had. He had fans all around the world and I am one of them, so to be able to play him is such a surreal achievement for me. The response has been amazing and all credit goes to Michael Jackson. After everything that Michael Jackson did for us, his fans, this is for him.”
Some of the preparations that Navi had to go through were vocal and acting classes that were conducted over Skype, to shed 20 pounds of weight via exercise, and experience 12 hours of filming a day. Stay tuned to Lifetime this June 25 at 8pm as Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland airs. June 25 is also the anniversary of Jackson’s untimely demise.