Sensing a sudden dearth of outrage-inducing Michael Jackson projects in the current cultural landscape, Lifetime has announced that it’s added a Jackson biopic, Searching For Neverland, to its upcoming crop of films. Based on the book Remember The Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days, the film will star The Walking Dead and The Wire’s Chad Coleman as Jackson’s bodyguard, while Jackson will, of course, be played by Shakespeare In Love star Joseph Fiennes.
Sorry, no, we got our wires crossed on that one (presumably thanks to the obvious casting sense that Fiennes-as-Jackson represents). Instead, Lifetime has cast professional Michael Jackson impersonator Navi in the role. Navi—whose personal web site carefully enumerates the many ways he is both a famous person, and the greatest Michael Jackson impersonator in the world—worked with the pop star several times over the course of his career, serving as a decoy, promotional tool, and body double for the King Of Pop on a number of occasions. He even spent a day at Neverland Ranch, where he “visited Michael’s cinema, zoo, went on a few of his theme park rides and had a barbecue on the grounds,” which sounds like a pretty fun day. Also, he’s of African descent, a trait that seems like an obvious prerequisite for portraying one of the most famous black entertainers in the world. But, then, we’ve been wrong on that score before.