In an unusual “sequins” of events, Johnny Depp is producing an unauthorized musical about Michael Jackson told from the perspective of the King of Pop’s iconic glove.
The wild show — “For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson, as told by his Glove” by Julien Nitzberg — debuts Jan. 25 in LA. It’s described as a “look into the strange forces that shaped Michael and the scandals that bedeviled his reputation” as narrated by a talking, singing glove.
Actors star with life-size puppets of the Jackson 5, Donny Osmond, Emmanuel Lewis, Corey Feldman and Bubbles the Chimp. Nitzberg first came up with the concept 17 years ago.
“I’m known for writing a lot of biopics,” he said. “A major TV network wanted me to write a [Jackson] movie … but the question came up [about] how to deal with the child-abuse allegations.” When the network and Nitzberg disagreed, “I said, how’s this? Everything MJ has been accused of has actually been caused by his glove, which is actually an alien from outer space [and] feeds on virgin boy blood. They laughed and said, can you do the normal version?” But, “It was morally kind of repugnant to me to do … I turned down a really big paycheck.” He thought, “I’m going to go back to this … and do this as a musical.” But, “we just couldn’t get the financing.”
Depp’s company Infinitum Nihil, headed by CEO Sam Sarkar, got involved after Nitzberg worked on developing a biopic on 1960s one-hit wonder Tiny Tim to star John Turturro.
“It ended up never getting made, but I developed a very good relationship with them,” Nitzberg recalled. When he pitched other ideas, an exec asked, “What else are you working on?” The writer said of his Jacko satire, “I’m doing this theater piece you probably aren’t interested in.” It’s just the latest Jacko project in the wake of HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” documentary. A sanctioned musical, “MJ,” heads to Broadway next year.