Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland is one of three Michael Jackson-related television biographies that are due to premiere today. The most anticipated is the movie Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland, which will air on the Lifetime channel for Memorial Day. Fans say that it is the perfect day to remember him since he was beloved. The bio-pic comes ahead of Lifetime’s one-hour after show Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Icon and the Lifetime Television special titled Biography Presents: Michael Jackson. Longtime impersonator Navi will star as the king of pop.
First up is Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland, which is directed by Dianne Houston and written by Elizabeth Hunter. Based on the book Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days, his two loyal bodyguards–Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard–give a riveting account of the singer’s last days.
Searching For Neverland covers Michael Jackson’s life after the trial up until the final moments of his life. The Lifetime movie drama will also retrace the moment Michael was first introduced to Doctor Conrad Murray, the man who ultimately had a hand in his death.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Lifetime’s Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland will reveal new information about Jackson that wasn’t commonly known, such as his love of hot sauce and the anxiety he was often stricken with before a performance.
— theJasmineBRAND.com (@thejasminebrand) May 17, 2017
According to Michael Jackson’s bodyguards, he was afraid to perform, and in his last days, he didn’t want to be the King of Pop. Michael Jackson’s only desire was to be a dad. This movie, like the book, is a loving and tender portrayal that shows Michael Jackson from a human light. He was a father first and always sought to protect his children.
— Tina Mahnam (@MoonwalkerTina) May 24, 2017
However, Lifetime’s effort to portray Michael Jackson’s life through his biggest fan and impersonator, Navi, has not gone without criticism. For starters, those who know the true story say bodyguards Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard supported Dr. Conrad Murray in the beginning and that this movie is not a true account.
Also, many say Lifetime should stop making biopics based on entertainers’ lives, believing that Navi, who speaks with a British accent, won’t be able to pull off the role successfully. However, supporters say despite Navi’s accent, he seems to capture the very essence of Michael Jackson and that Michael Jackson fans and devoted Lifetime movie lovers might not be as disappointed in this movie as they think.
— TV Weekly Now (@TVWeeklyNow) May 25, 2017
Navi made the following statement to ABC News about playing the role of Michael Jackson.
” I’ve got the most famous face in the world and it’s not mine. When I worked for him as a decoy, you know, 2,500 people chasing me and being scared for your life. I worked for him during the allegations, I worked for him during the promotions of albums and tours. I went to [Jackson’s ranch] Neverland, I did his birthday party, I performed at his birthday party in New York and Los Angeles. And [Jackson] said, ‘You’re an amazing dancer, do you practice every day?’ And I said, ‘Mike, you’re an amazing dancer.’ And he was like, ‘Really? You think so?’ But he was sincere about it and I was thinking, ‘Is this guy kidding me or what?’ … He was so insecure, but when he gets on stage he’s in total command. He’s human, he’s a person, he has emotions and feelings.”
The world premiere of Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland is scheduled to air at 8/7 p.m. Central, which will be immediately followed by Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Icon at 10:30/9:30 p.m Central and Biography Presents: Michael Jackson, which will premiere at 10:35/9:35 p.m. Central on Tuesday, May 30. They will all air on the Lifetime channel. Last year, Lifetime presented the movie Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart.
[Featured Image by Lucas Jackson/AP Images]