Dan Reed open to working Michael Jackson documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ sequel
Director Dan Reed, who helmed ‘Leaving Neverland’, a documentary revolving around sexual abuse allegations against the late Michael Jackson, stated that he is open to creating a follow-up of the film.
Reed, in an interview with Variety, said that he is open to working on a sequel of the controversial four-hour documentary. He added that he would want to get in contact with the King of Pop’s earlier high-profile accusers Jordan Chandler and Gavin Arvizo in order to make a sequel.
“If Jordan Chandler were to come forth, and if I could sit down with him speak to him the way I did to Wade Robson and James Safechuck, that would I think, be the core of a very interesting film about that story, and the same goes for Gavin”, said Reed.
‘Leaving Neverland’ first debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and revolves around the story and family lives of Robson and Safechuck - two men who claim that Jackson befriended and abused them as children.
“This is not a movie about Michael Jackson. This is not a movie about Michael Jackson abusing little boys. It’s a movie about two families and how two families came to terms with what their sons revealed to them many years after Jackson died”, Reed said.
“I would of course use the interviews I’ve already shot with investigators from those investigations — the D.A.s and all the people that were part of that wider drama. That would have been a very different type of film. It wouldn’t be this sort of claustrophobic — you wouldn’t be locked in a room with the Safechucks and the Robsons. I’d tell the story from Jordan and Gavin’s point of view, partly, but also through the eyes of all the other participants”, he added.
Reed also said that he tried to reach out to Chandler for the film but believes that the latter wants to stay hidden.
Jackson’s estate has criticised the film, previously calling it “tabloid character assassination”.
In response to this, Reed said the estate has “no legal arguments whatsoever”.
“It’s pretty much a cut and paste from a fan forum, with a lot of really ridiculous remarks and comments and allegations about the film,” Reed said, adding that the estate “clearly hasn’t watched the film”.
However, Reed doesn’t seem to have a desire to undermine Jackson’s talent. Even if the documentary spurs a campaign to stop listening to Jackson’s music, in the same way as the current ‘Mute R. Kelly’ campaign, he said he “would not endorse that”.
“The film’s not about Michael Jackson, and my intention is certainly not to topple Jackson from his iconic status, or to undermine his legacy. I just think it needs to be re-contextualized. We need to somehow be able to accommodate the fact that he’s a pedophile with the man’s talent as an entertainer”, Reed concluded.
‘Leaving Neverland’ is all set to air on March 3 on HBO.