It’s official: actor Joseph Fiennes is playing Michael Jackson in a dramatic movie!
The Shakespeare in Love star will play the deceased King of Pop in a dramatic film that focuses on the road trip that placed Michael Jackson in the same carpool as Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.
According to the Guardian, the dramatic film will star Joseph Fiennes, Stockard Channing (as Elizabeth Taylor), and Brian Cox (as Marlon Brando).
The story of this star-studded road trip first surfaced back in 2011 in a published report from Vanity Fair.
According to the report, Michael Jackson invited Elizabeth and Marlon to his Madison Square Garden concert. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the three celebrities were apparently stuck in New York since all of the flights were cancelled.
The film starring Joseph Fiennes will focus on the trip that the trio endured after they rented a car to head back to California on the road instead of in the air.
Fiennes opened up about the movie in an interview with WENN, explaining just how much of a challenge the film is for him.
“I got the script the other day. It’s a challenge. It’s a comedy. It doesn’t poke mean fun but it’s a story, possibly urban legend, whereby Michael, Marlon Brando, and Liz Taylor were all together the day before 9/11 doing a concert. Airspace was shut down and they couldn’t get out and Michael had the bright idea to go to hire a car and drive.”
Joseph Fiennes further explained that the trio drove “500 miles to Los Angeles” in a car together. It took a considerably long time for them to make it to their destination since “they had to stop at a lot of Burger Kings for Marlon.”
“It’s a lovely thing about Michael’s relationship with Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando. 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 as well.”
The overall announcement that Joseph Fiennes, a Caucasian actor, will play the African-American entertainer Michael Jackson has apparently struck a big nerve with numerous people on Twitter. The awkward casting decision has led to quite a few memes, jokes, and punchlines via the popular social media platform.
— John M. Keating (@jkeats) January 27, 2016
Am I the only one confused about this whole Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson in a film about 9/11? I’M SO CONFUSED! #WTF
— StarMagicJohnsonJr (@DarkoMarx) January 27, 2016
Just sayin’, Joseph Fiennes better not eventually get an Oscar nod for playing Michael Jackson….
— Matt Mitovich (@MattMitovich) January 27, 2016
So Joseph Fiennes (A WHITE DUDE!) is gunna play Michael Jackson… I say Denzel Washington plays Elvis in the next movie just to be fair.????????
— Nico Madden (@_nicomadden) January 27, 2016
Joseph Fiennes will play Michael Jackson in a 9/11 road-trip drama. Let me go pick up the exploded parts of my head. https://t.co/2ZQKH5pAQK
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) January 26, 2016
In addition to making comments about the Joseph Fiennes-Michael Jackson casting dilemma, there were even people that took a different approach to poking fun at the situation.
They apparently decided to take it one step further by creating other casting “ideas” that could also be used in the same movie — casting ideas that are obvious mismatches and hilarious to even consider.
I’m TOTALLY on board with Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson IF AND ONLY IF Angela Bassett is cast as Elizabeth Taylor
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) January 27, 2016
If Joseph Fiennes is playing Michael Jackson they should strongly consider Terry Crews for the role of Corey Feldman.
— Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) January 27, 2016
— Todd W. Haines (@toddwhaines) January 27, 2016
Over the years, Joseph Fiennes has proven his versatility as an actor in a wide variety of different roles. The 45-year-old actor played William Shakespeare in the 1998 romantic film Shakespeare in Love, which paired him alongside Gwyneth Paltrow.
Fiennes has also played Martin Luther in Luther(2003), King Eurystheus in Hercules (2014), and Matthew Parker in Strangerland (2015), as well as Clavius in the upcoming historical drama Risen.
However, whether or not Joseph Fiennes will be able to pull off an authentic portrayal of Michael Jackson is yet to be seen.
[Image Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]