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Rated PG-13 - Parents Strongly Cautioned

This article is rated PG-13, meaning it contains content that may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 13.

Man In The Mirror is an upcoming 2021 biographical musical drama film based on the life of Michael Jackson. Directed by Spike Lee, it stars Carlo Riley as Michael, with JD McCrary.


The film follows the entertaining but troubled life of Michael Jackson, from a music prodigy who lead a family music group to a solo artist. The film is titled after Michael's 1987 song of the same name from his album, BAD.

Plot

The film starts with Michael Jackson depressingly getting ready for his trial. He gives us the backstory of his life before it all went downhill.

In the 1970's Gary, Indiana, young Michael Jackson is a music prodigy who leads a family musical group called "The Jackson 5". Their manager is their father, Joe Jackson, who is occasionally abusive to Michael and his family. As Michael grows up, his parents take him out of school to focus on his music career, as he trains under his father. The Jackson 5 rapidly becomes one of the best boy bands in the United States, aside from Marlon, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie, Michael is the most influential from his singing to his dancing.

As Michael becomes a young adult, he felt like he was being used as nothing more than a cash cow and The Jacksons weren't doing so well at the time after "Blame It on the Boogie" and Michael did a film called "The Wiz" and after that was approached by Quincy Jones, it was an opportunity he couldn't miss so, he signed up to be a solo artist. Michael fires Joe and hires Frank Dileo as his new manager, much to Joe's distraught.

In 1980's California, Michael becomes a successful entertainer who produced songs like "Billie Jean", "Thriller", "Beat It", "Smooth Criminal" and "Bad". In 1984, he won 8 Grammy awards and is awarded the Presidential Public Safety Commendation by Ronald Reagan as Michael allowed “Beat It” to be used for an anti-drunk driving campaign. 1984 was the best and worst year for Michael. While he was rehearsing for a Pepsi commercial, Michael's hair caught on fire during filming and was sent to the hospital. Michael makes a full recovery, but he becomes addicted to painkillers on account of his injuries. In 1987, Michael produced a song called "Man In The Mirror". In dedication to a five year old Japanese boy named Yoshiaki Ogiwara who was kidnapped and murdered. The song became one of Michael most uplifting songs with it's gospel tone and he says it's one his favorites for its moral teaching: "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change".

In the 1990's Michael has been diagnosed with a skin condition, Vitiligo dues to recent surgeries. As the years went on his got lighter and lighter to where turned completely pale. In Santa Barbara County, Michael currently resides in this Neverland Ranch. Named after his favorite Disney film, "Peter Pan", and serves as his own private utopia with a carnival, a petting zoo, a narrow-gauge railway, a movie theater, statues of children, etc. However, his mother, Katherine is the only family member who's invited to his ranch as she is a loving mother while the rest of the family, especially Joe, weren't so kind to Michael.

He also invites fans and celebrities to come and play with him, like Macaulay Culkin, Whitney Houston and Lisa Marie Presley. Michael mostly invited children to come and play at his ranch, especially those who are either sick, abused or orphaned. Michael makes friends with other children like Ryan White a poster child for HIV/AIDS. Soon after Ryan died from AIDS, Michael produced the tribute song, "Gone Too Soon". Katherine is worried that Michael would hurt them as a grown man's relationship with a child isn't normal. But in Michael's eyes, it's totally normal. He treats all children as equals and that he doesn't have any reason to molest any children. While Michael has a lot of friends that respect him, there are those who want to ruin his reputation and take his fortune. Like Evan Chandler, father of Jordan. He forced his son to lie about Michael molesting him. The accusation was eventually closed due to a lack of evidence, and Michael agreed to pay to the Chandlers to settle a related civil lawsuit.

  • Michael married a woman named Debbie Rowe. They had two kids named Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (“Prince”) and Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson. Eventually they divorced and Michael another son named Prince Michael Jackson II ("Blanket") from another woman. Things got worse for Michael when 13 year old Gavin Arvizo and his brother Star claimed that Michael molested them. A trial between the people and Michael Jackson started which sparked outrage from fans who support Michael. Michael pleaded not guilty although it seems the his reputation is officially ruined. In 2005, Culkin and another close friend, Wade Robson, testified under oath that Jackson never sexually abused them. The people found Michael Jackson not guilty and he's free to go and the world rejoiced for Michael's acquittal. Although despite his newfound freedom, the trial took a nasty toll on his physical and mental health. However, he is always reminded of his family, fans and the many people he knew in his life who have stood by his side in their support. A year later after the trial, Michael appears at the 2006 World Music Awards singing "We Are The World". The film ends with a series of title cards stating that Michael died on 25 June 2009 at aged 50 from propofol-related cardiac arrest; he remained close with his three children for the rest of his life; "Man in the Mirror" became one of Michael's greatest hits; and we are given a quote from Michael appears saying...

"In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. In a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe".

Cast

Carlo Riley- Michael Jackson

  • JD McCrary- young Michael Jackson ages 13-15
  • Jeff Perez as Michel Jackson's singing voice

Richard Lawson - Joe Jackson

Starletta DuPois - Katherine Jackson

Spence Moore II - Jackie Jackson

Bumper Robinson - young Jackie Jackson

TJ Jackson - Tito Jackson

Trevor Jackson - young Tito Jackson

Algee Smith - Marlon Jackson

Demarjay Smith - young Marlon Jackson

Joseph David Jones - Jermaine Jackson

Ty Pittman - young Jermaine Jackson

Paul Giamatti - Frank Dileo

Donald Glover - Quincy Jones

Jim Sturgess - Paul McCartney

Sienna Miller - Linda McCartney

Zendaya - Latoya Jackson

Gavin Pring - George Harrison

Willem Dafoe - Mick Jagger

Ajiona Alexus - Janet Jackson

Ciara - Rebbie Jackson

TBC - James Brown

Bryshere Y. Gray - Prince

Julianne Hough - Madonna

Normani - Diana Ross

Kristen Stewart - Lisa Marie Presley

Keke Palmer - Whitney Houston

TBA - Eddie Van Halen

TBA - El DeBarge

TBA - James DeBarge

TBA - Bobby Brown

TBA - Ronnie DeVoe

TBA - Ricky Bell

TBA - Michael Bivins

TBA - Ralph Tresvant

TBA - Teddy Riley

  • TBA - Berry Gordy
  • TBA - Smokey Robinson
  • TBA - Suzanne De Passe

Soundtrack

  1. I Want You Back
  2. ABC
  3. Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)
  4. Blame It on the Boogie
  5. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
  6. Billie Jean
  7. Thriller
  8. Beat It
  9. Bad
  10. The Way You Make Me Feel
  11. Dangerous
  12. Gone Too Soon
  13. Smooth Criminal
  14. Leave Me Alone
  15. Man In The Mirror
  16. Remember the Time
  17. Black Or White
  18. You Are Not Alone
  19. Earth Song
  20. Heal The World
  21. Childhood

Trivia

  • Riley knew Michael back in Japan of 2007 and his family ever since, being given the family and Estate's approval to portray Jackson.
    • Riley lipsync throughout the movie with Jackson's vocals recorded by MJ impersonator Jeffrey Perez as Michael's singing voice.
    • He is the third tribute artist to portray Michael Jackson after Earnest Valentino and Navi.
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