.

Michael Jackson's Unrealized Dream: Career in the Film Industry

July 22, 2009 2:50 PM ET

Michael Jackson had an itch to get into the movie business, Claire Hoffman reports in the new issue of Rolling Stone, on stands today. When Jackson began talking about staging a grand comeback with Randy Phillips, CEO of AEG Live (the company that ended up promoting Jackson's This Is It concerts), the King of Pop wasn't just focused on making an album and hitting the stage: he also wanted to star and direct in big-screen films. Phillips tells RS that Jackson was excited about buying a new house in Las Vegas and adding to his film work, which had included his early starring role in The Wiz, 1997's Ghosts, a short horror film based on a screenplay commissioned from Stephen King, and 2005's Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls, in which Jackson had a brief role. "The house and making movies were huge to him," Phillips said.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that three months before Jackson's June 25th death, the singer had signed on to put up $8 million and co-direct an indie film about foster kids to be titled They Cage the Animals at Night that was based on a book by Jennings Michael Burch. Writer/director Bryan Michael Stoller tells the Reporter Jackson felt close to the story because his own childhood was tumultuous: "Michael told me often he felt like he grew up as an orphan, like a foster kid, because he never was in one home. To him every hotel was like a different foster home. He said he used to sit in the window and see kids playing outside and cry because he couldn't be part of that."

Though Jackson insiders deny the singer had an official agreement to work on the film, Stoller says Jackson brought author Burch to Neverland for an interview, which Stoller filmed and is looking to release now. The writer/director adds he and Jackson watched many movies together at Neverland, and To Kill a Mockingbird was the star's favorite.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com