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Leaving Neverland director already discussing a potential sequel

Photo: Dave Hogan (Getty Images)

Despite intense opposition from the Michael Jackson estate, Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed is already discussing a potential sequel to his bombshell HBO documentary about the sexual abuse allegations against the late pop star. Variety reports that Reed, whose film follows Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck, is interested in offering a similar platform for Jordan Chandler and Gavin Arvizo, both of whom have alleged that Jackson sexually abused them as children.

“If Jordan Chandler were to come forth, and if I could sit down with him speak to him the way I did to Wade [Robson] and James [Safechuck], that would I think, be the core of a very interesting film about that story, and the same goes for Gavin,” Reed said, noting, however, that it “would be a different type of film.”


“I would of course use the interviews I’ve already shot with investigators from those investigations—the D.A.s and all the people that were part of that wider drama,” he continued. “That would have been a very different type of film. It wouldn’t be this sort of claustrophobic—you wouldn’t be locked in a room with the Safechucks and the Robsons. I’d tell the story from Jordan and Gavin’s point of view, partly, but also through the eyes of all the other participants.”

Jackson settled out of court for $22 million with the family of Chandler in 1994. In 2005, he was charged with molesting Arvizo, a 13-year-old boy, but found not guilty. Jackson maintained his innocence throughout both incidents.

Reed seems unfazed by Jackson’s family and estate, both of whom have aggressively decried his movie. Jackson’s estate called it a “tabloid character assassination,” while his family deemed it a “public lynching.” In a statement, the family alleged that the documentarians “never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families.”

In response, Reed calls himself “maniacally fussy about factual accuracy,” adding that the Jackson estate has “no legal arguments whatsoever.” Of their statement, he says, “It’s pretty much a cut and paste from a fan forum, with a lot of really ridiculous remarks and comments and allegations about the film.”


“The film’s not about Michael Jackson, and my intention is certainly not to topple Jackson from his iconic status, or to undermine his legacy,” Reed said. “I just think it needs to be re-contextualized. We need to somehow be able to accommodate the fact that he’s a pedophile with the man’s talent as an entertainer.”

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Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.