Joseph Fiennes has been cast as Michael Jackson in a British television comedy about one of the strangest 9/11 celebrity road trips you’ve never heard of.
EW has confirmed that Fiennes will star alongside Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando in Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, which will air on Sky Arts and follows the trio’s supposed attempt to get home after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City.
The road trip was first reported about in a 2011 Vanity Fair article. That story claims Jackson invited Taylor and Brando to his concert at Madison Square Garden. A former employee of Jackson’s told the magazine that after the 9/11 attacks, unable to fly out of New York, the trio got in a car and drove themselves as far as Ohio. (One of Taylor’s close friends and assistants, however, told Vanity Fair the actress stayed in New York, where she prayed at a church and met with first responders at Ground Zero before flying out once airports reopened).
Sky Arts describes the project as a one-off, half-hour comedy. In a statement, the network said: “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon is a Sky Arts comedy which takes a light hearted look at a reportedly true event; Joseph Fiennes is cast as Michael Jackson. It is part of a series of comedies about unlikely stories from arts and cultural history. Sky Arts puts the integrity of the creative vision at the heart of all its original commissions and we believe in giving producers the creative freedom to cast roles as they wish, within the diversity framework which we have set.”
Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon will be written by Neil Forsyth, and produced by British actor Ralf Little. It will air on Sky Arts this year, but an exact premiere date has not yet been set.
This post has been updated since its original publication.