Posted in Bryan Michael Stoller, Celebrity News, Eric Roberts, Jacko, Jackson 5, Jennings Michael Burch, Just In, King of Pop, Mel Gibson, Michael Jackson, Movie News, Music News, Neverland Ranch, NEWS

Just In: Michael Jackson was to direct movie about foster children

According to OMG!, three months before his death, Michael Jackson committed to co-directing and financing a movie — a poignant drama about foster children — and planned to get started as soon as he completed his London concerts.

The news is the latest in a series of revelations that are helping to shed light on the pop star’s passions and projects, even as the investigation into his abuse of prescription drugs and a tussle over custody of his children rage on.

The movie project also is eerily keyed to one of the most haunting aspects of Jackson‘s life: his apparent feeling that the Jackson 5‘s huge success robbed him of his childhood.

“He was very excited about making movies and wanted his hands on everything, from working on screenplays to producing, to writing the music. However, he never showed any interest in acting,” B-movie producer, writer and director Bryan Michael Stoller said of Jackson, who starred in the 1978 pic “The Wiz.”

Stoller said he had a 23-year friendship with the pop star and was his partner in the film company Magic Shadows. He was to have co-directed the movie, called “They Cage the Animals at Night,” which Stoller said they had been developing for seven years.

INSPIRED BY BOOK

The project was based on a 1985 book about the real-life experiences of author Jennings Michael Burch, who bounced around foster homes as a child. Jackson showed the book to Stoller in 2002 at his Neverland estate and asked if he wanted to produce and co-direct a movie version.

Michael told me often he felt like he grew up as an orphan, like a foster kid, because he never was in one home,” Stoller said. “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.”

Stoller optioned the book for $1 — initially without telling Burch about Jackson‘s involvement. When he did tell him, Stoller said the author was excited to work with the singer.

Jackson, meanwhile, was concerned that Burch, then 67 and suffering from cancer, might not survive to see the movie made. So Stoller suggested bringing Burch to Neverland in 2003, where Jackson turned the tables and interviewed him for what was to be a TV special and for the eventual DVD.

During their highly charged conversation, Jackson asked the author if he had ever considered suicide. Burch said he had, and Jackson said he too had considered it during his darkest days. (A clip from this footage is available at THR.com.)

Stoller recorded their meeting, an addition to a collection of videos he made with Jackson over the years, and to hours of audio recordings from their meetings.

Stoller told The Hollywood Reporter he has now come forward because he believes this material humanizes his friend at a time when much myth-making about Jackson is taking place. The producer also is marketing his video, audio and photos either for outright sale or as a project he would produce and direct.

He said he already has had interest from NBC, CBS and E!

But insiders in the Jackson camp said there was no formal deal in place for any Jackson involvement in “Cage”; discussions between the artist and Stoller occurred when Jackson was without management, which may have frowned on any distractions as he prepared for the London shows.

‘CAST AWAY’ CAST OFF

Jackson‘s last film foray was a 2005 comedic farce, “Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls,” produced, written and directed by Stoller and starring Eric Roberts. Jackson is briefly in the movie as Agent M.J., who comes to the rescue of various characters on a beam of light. The movie was a direct-to-DVD release sold briefly at Blockbuster stores.

When Jackson was indicted on child molestation charges shortly after its release, Blockbuster pulled the film from its shelves. “Miss Cast Away” has been sold overseas by Showcase Entertainment, and Stoller said he has offers for a new domestic video release for Jackson‘s last movie appearance.

“They Cage the Animals” also was affected by the molestation charges, Stoller said. In 2003 the producer arranged a three-hour meeting in a Universal City hotel between Jackson and Mel Gibson, who besides being an actor is a producer and partner in Icon Prods. “They got along great,” Stoller said. “It was kind of funny. Mel was a little nervous. He was hugging a pillow the whole time, kind of playing with it. Michael was kind of shy.”

Icon signed a deal to develop the project with a budget of $12 million-$20 million, according to Stoller, who was paid by Icon to write the screenplay. A couple of months later, when Jackson was indicted in Santa Barbara, Calif., Icon dropped the project, and Gibson stopped returning Stoller‘s phone calls. There were news reports in 2005 that Icon had dropped the project. A spokesman for Icon said the company briefly was involved in developing it in 1995 but had lost interest by 1997. Stoller has a copy of his contract with Icon dated 2002.

Stoller said Icon still owns the screenplay, but an Icon representative rebutted that, saying the company has had no involvement or ownership for 10 years. Gibson declined comment for this report.

WATCHING MOVIES

Jackson lost contact with Stoller for about two years during the period when the singer was on trial. But after his acquittal, Jackson reached out to him. They had watched dozens of movies in the Neverland theater; Stoller said Jackson‘s favorite was “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and that they also discussed doing a remake of the comedy musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

“When Jackson called in 2007, he still had movies on his mind,” Stoller said. “He had begun to purchase movie production equipment. He was always asking how things work, but I never saw him really work things. But he wanted all the toys. He bought a dolly and wanted me to show the kids how to use it because they were using it as a play toy, riding around on it.”

Jackson wasn’t interested in making a blockbuster. “He wanted to do movies the Academy would like,” Stoller recalled.

Three months before Jackson‘s death, he and Stoller had “a pretty serious meeting” about reviving “They Cage the Animals” as an indie feature, the producer said.

Michael was going to put up $8 million and not have to deal with any studios or producers and then take it to the studios afterward,” Stoller said. “He was very passionate about being a director. He was determined to make this movie.”

Source: OMG!

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“Too bad, that we never got to see that side of Michael Jackson. It sounds like it would have been a great movie to watch.”

Posted in Berry Gordy, celebrity Deaths, Celebrity News, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Funerals/Memorials, Jacko, Jackson Family, John Branca, John McClain, Judge Mitchell Beckhoff, Just In, Katherine Jackson, King of Pop, La Toya Jackson, Michael Jackson, Motown, Music News, Neverland Ranch, NEWS

Just In: Michael Jackson’s Body Moved

Michael Jackson’s body has been moved amid fears fans would break into the crypt where it was stored.

The late ‘Thriller’ star’s coffin was taken to a private tomb belonging to Motown records founder Berry Gordy after the memorial service last week, but thousands of people have flocked to the spot since the location was leaked last weekend.

The Jackson family have now moved the coffin to the basement of the main building at Forest Lawn Cemetery – where the singer’s private funeral took place – until his final resting place is decided.

A source said: “The Jackson family was not pleased and ordered the casket to be placed in the basement for security reasons.”

Michael’s sister LaToya Jackson – who supplied information for the star’s death certificate – was reportedly responsible for choosing what he wore to be buried in.

The 50-year-old star is believed to have been dressed in black studded trousers, an oversized gold belt and two black gloves. His trademark single white glove was also placed in the coffin with him.

It is believed that Michael’s family want him to be laid to rest in his Californian ranch Neverland.

However, his mother Katherine is said to be blocking their wish because she believes it is not what the late star – who moved out of the property when he was acquitted of child abuse charges in 2005 – would have wanted.

Katherine has failed in another bid to be “treated like a third trustee” of the singer’s estate, after originally being refused to be legally named as co-administrator last Monday (06.07.09).

Documents filed at Los Angeles Superior Court Monday(07.13.09) contained details of the dispute but Judge Mitchell Beckhoff signed off papers for the singer’s two existing trustees – attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain – to begin doing business on behalf of the estate.

Katherine had been named temporary administrator in the aftermath of Michael’s death last month.

A new court date has been set for August 3.

Meanwhile, toxicology results that could help establish the cause of the ‘Bad’ singer’s death may be available this week or early next week, an official from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office has claimed.

It is expected the office will announce they have the results and then release the details the following day.

Source: Fametastic

Posted in Berry Gordy, Bette Davis, Chief William Bratton, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Freddie Prinze, Jacko, Jackson 5, Jermaine Jackson, Joe Jackson, Joseph Jackson, Katherine Jackson, King of Pop, La Toya Jackson, Michael Jackson, Neverland Ranch, NEWS, Sandra Dee, Wire Talk

Wire Talk: La Toya Jackson to Dress Michael Jackson for Burial

In addition to making “the most incredible outfit” for Michael’s burial, the songstress reportedly has called her longtime stylist to help her styling her late brother.

Playing good and caring sister, La Toya Jackson reportedly will dress late brother Michael Jackson for his burial. Per Access Hollywood as being informed by a source close to the Jacksons, La Toya will have the King of Pop being laid to rest with his single signature white glove. “La Toya had Michael’s rhinestone glove laid in the casket,” confirms the source. “Michael wore a black leather glove on each hand [in the casket].”

As for Michael‘s final attire, La Toya will take care all the details. “She wanted him to look incredible. She called in his longtime stylist and had the most incredible outfit made for him,” says the source. “He looked wonderful – like an angel.”

On top of all, La Toya is said to have also been “extremely instrumental in every aspect and every detail” of the funeral arrangements, as well as watching after Michael‘s three children since he passed away last month. Besides, she has been “heavily involved” in the investigation conducted by authorities to determine the cause of Michael‘s death, which isn’t something new for her as she herself is a trained law enforcement official. “She’s still working around the clock with detectives until this case is resolved,” the source adds.

Despite the report, there has been no official word from Michael‘s family regarding plans of burial. In the meantime, there have been reports saying that he won’t be laid to rest until authorities finish examining his brain and before they can come to final conclusion on the cause of his death.

According to the NY Post, Michael Jackson is stored in LA Crypt as family squabbles.

Over his dead body!

Michael Jackson‘s family is bitterly divided over how best to profit off the King of Pop‘s remains — so his body has been stashed in Motown maestro Berry Gordy‘s crypt until the clan stops bickering, The Post has learned.

Jackson‘s gold-plated casket was last seen at his public memorial service, and its whereabouts have been shrouded in mystery — until now.

His remains were brought back to the white marble, above-ground crypt the Motown record-label founder bought for his family in the Court of Remembrance section of the sprawling, celeb-filled Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills.

Jackson‘s body is still missing his brain, which coroners are temporarily keeping for testing.

Aside from Jackson, the simple mausoleum is empty and marked only with a distinctive swooping letter “G.”

For the time being, Jackson lies with a who’s who of Hollywood heavyweights. Next door is the final resting place of American sweetheart actress Sandra Dee, who died in 2005.

And nearby are ornate crypts for iconic actress Bette Davis, flamboyant pianist Liberace and ’70s “Chico and the Man” star Freddie Prinze.

Gordy — who discovered the Jackson 5 — offered the family use of the crypt until they sort out what to do with the superstar’s remains, sources said.

On one side are Jackson‘s brother Jermaine and father, Joseph, who are insistent the Gloved One be buried at Neverland Ranch so the family can profit off a proposed Graceland-style museum there — a process that could take years.

On the other are Jackson‘s mother, Katherine, and most of the rest of the siblings, who want his body laid to rest elsewhere out of respect for his wish, following his acquittal on child-molestation charges, to never return to Neverland.

“Jermaine is the one that wants him at Neverland — he and Joseph — because of the whole Elvis thing and the money potential,” a family source said. “They are seeing dollar signs.”

Her son’s physical purgatory has left Katherine shaken.

“She is still upset that Michael isn’t buried and he is at Gordy’s spot in Forest Lawn, the source said. “This fighting has to stop. We can never unite, and that’s an injustice.”

The fight had become so contentious that Jermaine rode in a separate Rolls-Royce limousine to Jacko‘s public memorial at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, even though his mother had wanted all the brothers to ride together, the source said.

But the fight hasn’t stopped the family from agreeing on other ways to turn Jackson’s death into a financial boon.

Most of the kids and Katherine are onboard with a proposed documentary about the family that could bring in $20 million, the source said.

“They’re doing this documentary because with the kids, they will get $20 million,” the source said, adding Katherine is pushing all her children to be a part of it.

But if Jermaine and Joseph Jackson prevail, it would be a long legal road — permits would be needed — before a Graceland-like museum could be built at Jackson‘s one-time fantasyland home north of Santa Barbara.

Meanwhile, LAPD Chief William Bratton told CNN last night that detectives are looking at Jacko’s prescription-drug history and trying to talk with his numerous former doctors.

The coroner will determine the cause of death — whether it’s homicide or an accidental overdose.

The coroner’s office has subpoenaed “any and all” medical records pertaining to Jacko’s care, the LA Times reported.

Bratton said the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the state Attorney General’s Office, which keeps a database of prescription drugs, are assisting investigators.

Source: aceshowbiz

Posted in Funerals/Memorials, Jermaine Jackson, Just In, Katherine Jackson, King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Neverland Ranch, NEWS

Just In: Will Michael Jackson Be Buried At Neverland?

Michael Jackson‘s mother feels Neverland Ranch is too tainted to become a burial site for her son. Katherine Jackson is said to have had heated discussions with Michael‘s brother, Jermaine, who wants the singer to be buried at the ranch where he lived from 1988 to 2003.

Charges of child molestation made against the singer and police raids are believed to have caused him to leave. Katherine believes that Michael would not wish to be laid to rest there for the same reasons that he did not want to live there. A source close to Katherine said: “Michael left Neverland for good, never to return. He felt violated by law enforcement after his molestation trial. He felt this place he had built had been tainted.” Jermaine said: “This is his home, he created this. Why wouldn’t he be here? I feel his presence. And I love that. I want my mother to come back here and feel what I feel. He built this place with love and you can see it and feel it.”

»Source: Splash News

Posted in Celebrity News, Kim Kardashian, Michael Jackson, Neverland Ranch

Celebrity News: Kim Kardashian Remembers the Time At Neverland Ranch

Kim Kardashian has celebrated her birthday 28 times, but her 14th always sticks out as one of the most memorable.

The location: Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

“That was the most magical place on earth,” she told PEOPLE Friday in Las Vegas at the opening in The Mirage of Sugar Factory, a candy store for which she is spokeswoman. “I had my birthday at Neverland Ranch. Who else can say that?”

Kardashian, who was dating one of Jackson’s nephews at the time, recalls: “When you drove up there were baby elephants and chimpanzees in overalls, and there was all the rides. It was everything you can possibly imagine. The memories I have from that place will last for the rest of my life.”

Jackson, though, wasn’t at the party. “It was just me and my friends,” says Kardashian. “It was something I’ll never forget.”

Posted in Dear Diary, Michael Jackson

Dear Diary: The Misunderstood Man – Michael Jackson

Hello Readers,

I came across a blog a few days ago, and read a post that they wrote about Michael Jackson. It was interesting to read in detail, what their thoughts of him were. I thought I would share that post with you.  You can do so below after the photo jump.

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In recent days, ten to be exact, I’ve been enthralled in the world of Michael Jackson. You may have noticed the number of MJ posts since his passing on June 25, 2009. There was more enlightening information about the man that I was tempted to post but decided not to so I wouldn’t bombard the blog with MJ all day. However, I felt my first written post about Mr. Jackson wasn’t enough. I have learned more about the man behind the music since that day and became more inspired and amazed by him. I also felt guilty.

He was truly misunderstood and believe me, I know what that feels like–it’s annoying, it’s hurtful and it’s frustrating. And like so many Americans, I, too, misunderstood Michael Jackson. No, I didn’t think he was a child molester. However, I didn’t rule out the possibility either. I just didn’t want to believe it for there was no true evidence from the two cases and I just didn’t want to think that he did it and fall into the media’s sensationalism.

Nevertheless, I did wonder about his seemingly bizarre behavior and his endless love for children and child-like things. I did wonder about his skin color and the ever changing structure of his face. I did ponder over his career and how much love and respect he received during the Thriller and Bad era versus the Dangerous and Invincible era. I wasn’t that excited about the comeback tour. I guess, in a sense, I wasn’t paying that much attention to Michael Jackson. I didn’t know the man at all and like I said in another post, I was not a fanatic. I only appreciated the music and the performance. The rest was up to interpretation.

Sadly, I didn’t realize how brilliant, caring and interesting this man was, and still is in spirit, until after his transition. I read and listened to a speech he did at Oxford University in 2001, which I didn’t know about until after June 25th. It was truly a raw, honest and beautiful speech. It made me laugh and cry. It also made me realize how wrong I was about him. He didn’t do anything to those kids. He couldn’t possibly harm a child. He loves children too much to ever do that. He even said in an interview that he would slit his wrists before hurting a child in any way.

Even though I’ve never fault him for those charges, I still felt extremely guilty after that speech, almost to the point of feeling slightly sick to my stomach. To be excuse of such a heinous act and to have almost everyone look at you differently, to one degree or another, must have been the most painful feeling. To be rumored of not liking who you are over and over again due to a disease that couldn’t be controlled must have been frustrating. To be constantly questioned about it and to be constantly not believed had to have been a nightmare. To be put in a situation where you are trying to do the best by these children by providing them their childhood with unconditional love and support, financial and otherwise, to only be subjected to their parents’ greed must have been heart wrenching. To be labeled as “wacko,” a “freak” and other negative names must have hurt like hell. And to know that there is a possibility that all of this was happening due to the extreme success of a talented, intelligent Black man, who outsmarted the big honchos in the music industry, made him believe that it was a conspiracy against him and rightly so.

He was not perfect at all. He had flaws. He made mistakes. To his omission, he compensated the lack of childhood in his early years by building Neverland Ranch and having friendships with children. He outbid a friend, Paul McCartney for the publishing rights of Beatles songs and might have married Lisa Marie Presley for the wrong reasons. He was addicted to painkillers at one point in his life. He also had too many unnecessary cosmetic surgeries on his nose. He said things that would be deemed questionable. He did things that most would say is odd and eccentric. He was a human being in all its complexity.

I don’t want to make him appear to be a saint but I do believe wholeheartedly that his intentions were good in his music and in his personal life. He wanted to end the mistreatment of true artists in the music business, especially Black artists. He wanted to help heal the world through an initiative of rebuilding the parent/child relationship. He spoke out against racism, injustice, police brutality, greed and other social issues that America still haven’t dealt with, through song, speeches and interviews. As one of his bodyguards said, he was the most misunderstood person in the world.

Michael said in one interview that if a lie is told over and over again, you will begin to believe it. He also said that the truth will outlive a lie. I think with his recent transition, people are finally seeing the truth and appreciating the music, the dance and the man of Michael Jackson.

And I have a funny feeling that he would forgive us all for misunderstanding him while he was here on this Earth.

R.I.P. Michael.

Source: TJP

Posted in Beatles, Forest Lawn Cemetery, John Branca, John McClain, John Schreiber, Judge Mitchell Beckloff, Just In, Katherine Jackson, King of Pop, Michael Jackson, Neverland Ranch, Staples Center

Just In: Katherine Jackson No Longer Administrator of Michael Jackson’s Estate

A judge removed Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson as administrator of his estate as Los Angeles went into lockdown for a star-studded memorial service to which more than 1.5 million people were denied seats.

The acting mayor of Los Angeles said the pop legend would be buried at the city’s well-known Forest Lawn Cemetery today just ahead of the public ceremony, which will be broadcast live around the world.

On the eve of the service, lawyers for Jackson’s 79-year-old mother Katherine clashed with two of the King of Pop’s business associates for control of his estate that includes the Neverland Ranch and rights to Beatles songs.

A judge had named Katherine, who was close to her son throughout his life, as temporary executor of his estate shortly after the pop icon suddenly collapsed and died on June 25.

But in line with Jackson’s will, which emerged last week, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff handed the estate over to attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain.

Lawyers for Katherine Jackson had opposed the motion to appoint the two men, citing a “conflict of interests” and questioning whether Branca had a current relationship with Jackson at the time of his death.

“Mrs Jackson has concerns about handing over the keys of the kingdom just yet. She feels it is too soon,” attorney John Schreiber said.

However, a lawyer for Branca, a prominent entertainment industry attorney, said his client had recently been rehired by Jackson and was well known to the family. The business partners will control Jackson’s estate until a new hearing on August 3.

The Los Angeles Times reported that although the free-spending Jackson died owing more than $400 million, his assets outstripped his debts by at least $200 million.

Those figures also do not include the huge sums likely to be generated by posthumous sales of his music and memorabilia, which have surged and are expected to remain strong for months.

Police are preparing a large-scale operation for today’s service at 10am (1pm Eastern Time), warning to fans DO NOT show up at the downtown Staples Center arena unless you are among the lucky few with tickets.

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“R.I.P. Michael Jackson”