Lifetime is debuting a special new movie tonight, which tells the story of Michael Jackson‘s final days. Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland debuts on Lifetime at 8:00 p.m. ET on Monday, May 29, 2017. Read on for a preview of the film and to check out the trailer.
Searching for Neverland gives a unique perspective on the King of Pop’s last days. It’s based on Remember The Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days, which was written by his bodyguards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, with Tanner Colby. The best-selling book was published in 2014 and reveals how Beard and Whitfield protected Jackson from the hounding paparazzi and made sue he could raise his children in some kind of peace.
“We wrote Remember the Time because we had a story to tell about the Michael Jackson we knew,” the bodyguards told MJJ Community. “If you’re a Michael Jackson fan and supporter, you deserve to know him more on a personal side, not just who he was but what he endured as a man, and as a father. You deserve a true account from those that were there, not from those who can only repeat what they heard second hand.”
Jackson, who died in 2009, is played by Navi, who bills himself as the #1 Michael Jackson impersonator in the world. He’s played Jackson for nearly 30 years, traveling around the globe and keeping Jackson’s music alive. According to his website, he personally worked with Jackson whenever the real singer needed to escape a hotel without anyone seeing him. He was even considered to be a body double for Jackson’s ill-fated This Is It shows. In 2003, he visited Neverland Ranch and famously stood outside the Santa Maria courthouse when Jackson was on trial for child molestation charges.
The film was directed by Dianne Houston, whose 1995 short film Tuesday Morning Ride was nominated for an Oscar. This is her first film since 2015, when she directed Runaway Island for TV One. She also wrote an episode of ABC’s When We Rise this year.
PREMIERE DATE: Monday, May 29, 2017
TIME: 8 p.m. ET
Monday, May 29 at 11:32 p.m. ET
Tuesday, May 30 at 3:04 a.m. ET
Tuesday, May 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Wednesday, May 31 at 12:29 a.m. ET
CHANNEL: Lifetime (To find out what channel Lifetime is for you, click here to go to TVGuide.com and change your provider under “TV Listings.”)
PLOT: “Told through the eyes of the King of Pop’s trusted bodyguards, Bill Whitfield (Chad Coleman) and Javon Beard (Sam Adegoke), the movie will reveal firsthand the devotion Michael (Navi, the world’s #1 Michael Jackson tribute artist) had to his children, and the hidden drama that took place during the last two years of his life.”
Navi as Michael Jackson
Chad L. Coleman as Bill Whitfield
Sam Adegoke as Javon Beard
Aidan Smith as Prince Michael Jackson
Taegen Burns as Paris Jackson
Michael Mourra as Blanket Jackson
Starletta DuPois as Katherine Jackson
Ken Colquitt as Dr. Conrad Murray
Directed by Dianne Houston
Written by Elizabeth Hunter; Based on the book Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days by Bill Whitfield, Javon Beard and Tanner Colby
Producers: Kyle A. Clark, Lina Wong
Executive Producers: Suzanne Coston, Suzanne De Passe, Madison Jones, Robert Teitel
Production Companies: Lifetime, Silver Screen Pictures