A second Michael Jackson documentary is coming to British TV after the BBC ordered “Michael Jackson: The Rise and Fall” from journalist and Jackson expert Jacques Peretti, who has already made several films about the late singer. The announcement of the project comes just days before rival U.K. pubcaster Channel 4 airs “Leaving Neverland” over two nights, starting March 6, not long after the controversial film’s broadcast on HBO in the U.S.
“Michael Jackson: The Rise and Fall” is the working title of the BBC project, which will air on BBC Two later this year. The pubcaster’s production and distribution arm, BBC Studios, is making the one-off show and is expected to take it out internationally.
Peretti will write and present the film – his fourth about the pop superstar, following “Michael Jackson: What Really Happened,” “Michael Jackson’s Last Days: What Really Happened,” and “Michael Jackson’s Secret Hollywood.”
The producers said the new film would take viewers from Jackson’s early years with The Jackson 5 in Gary, Indiana, to his time in New York, relationship with the media, retreat into fantasy and creation of Neverland. It will also look at the preparations for his “This Is It” concerts shortly before his death in 2009.
The producers said they would speak to those close to Jackson to “try and unpick the circumstances, controversies and accusations that continue to surround him today in an attempt to better understand the rise and fall of the pop superstar.”
BBC Two chief Patrick Holland said that Peretti is one of the foremost critical commentators of Michael Jackson and his troubled life and legacy.
“When he came to us over a year ago with the idea of reappraising him 10 years after his death, we were immediately taken with the project,” Holland said. “We knew it would not shy away from the controversies that surround [Jackson] and would be a thorough look at the many facets of his life that would help us try to understand what made him who he was.”