Michael Jackson Biopic Gets $21 Million in California Tax Credits

“Michael,” the Lionsgate biopic about Michael Jackson, will receive more than $21 million in California tax credits, the state’s film commission announced Monday.

The California Film Commission announced the latest round of credit allocations, totaling $81.7 million for 24 projects. The commission stated that “Michael” will generate $120 million in “qualified” in-state spending, which is more than any other project in the 14-year history of the tax credit program.

The project was announced in January, with Jackson’s nephew Jaafar in the lead role. John Branca and John McClain, the executors of the Jackson estate, are producing with Graham King.

The project comes with controversy. Dan Reed, the director of “Leaving Neverland,” the documentary that accused Jackson of sexually assaulting two young boys, slammed the new film in a Guardian column, saying it will “will glorify a man who raped children.”

The state film commission also announced that “The Thomas Crown Affair” will receive $13.8 million, and an untitled Disney live-action film will be awarded $11.3 million. “The Thomas Crown Affair” had been awarded $19.6 million last August, but subsequently withdrew that request and reapplied.

The $21.1 million awarded to “Michael” puts it among the largest credit allocations ever provided by the state. California has previously given $22.3 million to “Bumblebee,” $21.8 million to “Space Jam 2” and $21.4 million to “Top Gun: Maverick.” Only the first $100 million of “qualified” in-state spending counts towards the state’s 20% tax credit.

Netflix has dominated recent rounds of credit allocations, but did not appear on the list this time.

The full list:

Studio Films

“Michael,” Lions Gate Entertainment Inc., $ 21,070,000
Untitled Disney Live Action, Tagalong Films, Inc., $ 11,306,000
“Thomas Crown Affair,” Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., $ 13,777,000

Indie Films

“A Bright And Guilty Place,” ABGP81 LLC, $1,118,000
“Abundance,” Abundance Film LLC, $896,000
“Atropia,” Atropia LLC, $823,000
“From Dust to Dust,” American Zoetrope, $796,000
“Goodrich,” Frances Goodrich, LLC, $1,765,000
“Home School,” Home School LLC, $2,016,000
“Hurricana,” Pydo Productions, $810,000
“Lips Like Sugar,” Lips Like Sugar Film, LLC, $1,470,000
“Live” Live, LLC, $2,752,000
“Nobody Nothing Nowhere,” Department of Motion Pictures, $2,399,000
“Original Tru,” Original Tru Production LLC, $1,099,000
“Pizza Girl,” Maggot Productions II, Inc., $1,644,000
“Puritan II,” Starmaker Studios LLC, $2,500,000
“Shell,” Juniper, LLC, $2,500,000
“Sons of the Silent Age,” Kathryn Roughan, Producer, $855,000
“Superbloom,” Annapurna Productions, LLC, $1,163,000
“The Faith of Long Beach,” The Faith of Long Beach Film LLC, $1,212,000
“The Invite,” Invite Distribution, LLC, $2,500,000
“The Knockout Queen,” Atlas Entertainment, $2,500,000
“Trees & PhDs,” Inner Child LLC, $1,893,000
“Unstoppable,” AE Ops, LLC, $2,500,000

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