UPDATE: Contrary to initial reports, Rolling Stone has confirmed that neither Johnny Depp nor his production company are involved in the production.
An upcoming, “unauthorized” musical will focus on Michael Jackson’s life story from the perspective of the King of Pop’s iconic sequined glove. To make the project even weirder, Johnny Depp is onboard to produce the stage show, which will debut on January 25th in Los Angeles.
Penned by Julien Nitzberg, For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson, as told by his Glove began as a more conventional biopic before the sexual abuse allegations against Jackson changed the focus of the project.
“I’m known for writing a lot of biopics. A major TV network wanted me to write a [Jackson] movie … but the question came up [about] how to deal with the child abuse allegations,” Nitzberg told Page Six.
“I said, how’s this? Everything MJ has been accused of has actually been caused by his glove, which is actually an alien from outer space [and] feeds on virgin boy blood. They laughed and said, can you do the normal version?” After the biopic plans collapsed, Nitzberg pursued his offbeat idea and transformed the biopic into a musical.
While looking to secure financing for the now-musical, Nitzberg aligned with Depp’s Infinitum Nihil production company; Nitzberg previously penned an unmade Tiny Tim biopic for Depp’s company.
For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson, as Told by his Glove is described as a “look into the strange forces that shaped Michael and the scandals that bedeviled his reputation,” with the glove serving as a singing narrator. Page Six adds that the show will also feature puppet versions of the Jackson 5, Corey Feldman, Donny Osmond and Jackson’s beloved chimpanzee Bubbles.
The musical is reminiscent of another unauthorized King of Pop project, a Black List-winning screenplay told from the perspective of Bubbles; however, as of May 2019, that stop-motion animated film has stalled after director Taika Waititi and distributor Netflix exited the project. A similarly unauthorized Jackson-centric episode of the British TV series Urban Myths was also pulled within days of its premiere.
In addition to the unauthorized musical, a pair of legitimate, estate-approved projects are in the works: A Broadway jukebox musical and a recently announced biopic from the producer of Bohemian Rhapsody.