Michael Jackson is getting the Lifetime movie treatment. Lifetime announced Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland (working title), a new flick based on the best-selling book Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days. The movie is told through the eyes of Jacksons trusted bodyguards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard.
Navi, who Lifetime calls the world's No. 1 Michael Jackson tribute artist will star as the King of Pop. This is his acting debut. The Walking Dead's Chad L. Coleman will play Whitfield.
Filming is expected to begin in Los Angeles in February.
Suzanne de Passe, who also worked on The Jacksons: An American Dream, will executive produce with Madison Jones and Robert Teitel. Dianne Houston is directing a script from Beauty Shop's Elizabeth Hunter.
Navi and Jackson crossed paths before. According to his official site, Navi was previously used by Jackson to promote concerts and albums or as a decoy with the press. See a video of Navi performing above.
Michael Jackson has been in the news lately thanks to Urban Myths, a Sky series that was to feature an installment with Joseph Fiennes playing Jackson alongside Brian Cox as Marlon Brando and Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor. The story behind Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon? A rumored road trip the three stars took after the September 11 terrorist attacks, attempting to get from New York City to Los Angeles. Following public outcry from Jackson's family, Sky has canceled the TV movie.
"We have taken the decision not to broadcast Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, a half hour episode from the Sky Arts Urban Myths series, in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson's immediate family," the network said in a statement. "We set out to take a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offence. Joseph Fiennes fully supports our decision."
Lifetime's Michael Jackson flick is just the latest in its series of movies based on pop stars. Britney Ever After, the Britney Spears movie, is coming in February and previous movies have focused on Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton and Aaliyah.