Almost exactly a year ago, a minor controversy erupted when it was revealed that Joseph Fiennes had been hired to play the late King Of Pop, Michael Jackson, in an episode of Sky Arts‘ “Urban Myths.” As the title suggests, the series brings to life probably-not-true stories about major celebrities, and the episode “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon” chronicles the legend that after the 9/11 attacks, Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor left New York City and took a road trip. Many were concerned about a white British actor cast to play Jackson, but the project soldiered on, and now we have a taste of the results.
The first trailer for “Urban Myths” has arrived and it certainly looks….wacky. Eight episodes, spread across two seasons, are coming in 2017, with entries featuring Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan, Ben Chaplin as Cary Grant, Aiden Gillen as Timothy Leary, and much more. As for “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon” it has Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando. As for Fiennes’ performance? Well, that will have to wait to be seen as we don’t hear him speak in this teaser. As for casting the actor, director Ben Palmer (“Man Up,” “The Inbetweeners Movie“) defends the decision.
“We were casting Michael Jackson in 2001 and that obviously is a challenge in terms of the physical resemblance. We were really looking for the performance that could unlock the spirit, and we really think Joe Fiennes has done that. He’s given a really sweet, nuanced, characterful performance,” he told The Guardian. “It’s a really lovely, sweet film. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people react once they’ve actually seen it.”
“Urban Myths” debuts in the U.K. on January 19th. There’s no U.S. date yet.
— Sky Arts (@SkyArts) January 8, 2017