Entertainment

Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson? See for yourself in this 'Urban Myths' trailer

“Shakespeare in Love” star Joseph Fiennes portrays Michael Jackson in an upcoming British TV show.
“Shakespeare in Love” star Joseph Fiennes portrays Michael Jackson in an upcoming British TV show. Sky Arts

Here it is, your first look at Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson.

The “Shakespeare in Love” actor portrays the late pop superstar in an upcoming episode of the TV show “Urban Myths,” an eight-part series that re-creates rumored stories about celebrities.

The Fiennes clip shows him, as Jackson, in a car with Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.

The 30-minute episode, called “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon,” retells the story of when the three stars supposedly shared a car as they left New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In the teaser, a police officer pulls them over.

“I sensed danger,” Jackson says.

“You always had such keen senses, Michael,” says Taylor.

“Like when he sensed Prince was trying to kill his monkey through dreams,” says Brando from the back seat.

The casting of Fiennes, who is white, to play the King of Pop was controversial when it was announced last year, which could be why comments have been disabled on the trailer, posted to YouTube.

 
Here's Joseph Fiennes, sans the weird makeup. Evan Agostini | AP

“This is territory that is sensitive,” Fiennes told The Associated Press. “One must determine if this portrayal is one that is going to be positive entertainment, and one that will not bring about division and put anyone’s noses out of joint, so I went with the mind that this was a positive light-hearted comedy.

“I deal in imagination, so I don’t think imagination should have rules stamped on them. If it promotes stereotyping, then it’s wrong. I made a distinction that the Jackson project doesn’t do that.”

The trailer also features scenes from other shows in the “Urban Myths” series. In one, “Game of Thrones” star Iwan Rheon plays Adolf Hitler and “Harry Potter” star Rupert Grint is his friend. In another, Ben Chaplin plays Cary Grant.

The series begins Jan. 19 on the Sky Arts satellite channel.

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