This past Monday lifetime premiered their latest biopic “Searching For Neverland” based on Michael Jackson’s later years of his life told through his bodyguards eyes. It was a farrrrr cry above the mid 2000s Michael Jackson starring Flex Alexander, but it was a typical lifetime production.
In watching the movie I thought about something, are we about to reach a point of market saturation regarding biopics? Whether we like to admit it or not we all enjoy learning a bit more about celebrities and the paths they took to reach success and anything they endured on their level of success. With that though comes some biopics being produced for folks who don't need them or who’s story is not yet complete to tell an engaging fully fleshed story.
After the New Edition Story was released in January creating the trifecta of biopics along with The Jacksons: An American Dream, and The Temptations. We as fans started asking what’s the next story to be told? What I have seen coming down the pipeline shows Hollywood's reliance on following trends. Rumors or a Jodeci biopic being developed surfaced after the New Edition film released. There are two biopics in development for Xscape which no disrespect to that group but I don't know if they have a compelling enough story to tell. Dion
ne Warwick, tv one is supposedly developing a biopic on Debarge which if done right could be very interesting. A biopic about Bobby Browns story aside from New Edition, Outkast is rumored to have one in the works, Master P, Faith Evans, Bobbi Kristina is getting a biopic told through her eyes.
There are also biopics that the subject deserves their story being told. Othe big budget scale we have “All eyez on me” based on the life of Tupac released later this month which I believe has the potential to be a very good film. Richard Pryors biopic has been stagnant for years, along with a biopic of Marvin Gaye. Michael K. Williams (Omar from The Wire) is slated to play Miles Davis. Jennifer Hudson has been rumored to play Aretha Franklin in a movie. Jamie Foxx as Mike Tyson. The Supremes deserve a biopic, Whitney Houston deserves another proper biopic.
With multiple biopics in the work projects become watered down and films are rushed to capitalize on a recent craze. Also throw in the fact when there is no participation from the subject of the biopic or their estate, it leaves a mostly hearsay sometimes silly depiction. Throw into account when the producers can't obtain the music rights….it’s not even worth making the movie at that point. We all saw the Aaliyah movie and saw how that turned out.
I love a good biopic as much as anyone especially when I'm a fan of that artist. Sitting down for a few hours seeing their path all the while jamming to their music or recalling certain events I remember shown in the film are always fun. I just hope they are done with care and planned out so that we as an audience don't suffer from biopic overdose and eventually turn away for good.