His new role may be the lead in an Edgar Allan Poe biopic

By Jeff Jensen
Updated November 18, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST
Corbis Sygma

A $30 million feature about the last week of Edgar Allan Poe’s life starring eccentric pop idol Michael Jackson as the eccentric literary idol? ”They’re the same age, their builds are very similar, and there’s a similar mystique,” says producer Jim Green. ”Michael likes to explore the dark side, and certainly Poe had a lot of dark things in his nature.”

Green and partner Gary Pudney pitched ”The Nightmares of Edgar Allan Poe” to Jackson when the singer told them he plans to stop touring after his next album and concentrate on movies. Green hopes to get rolling as soon as the script is done. The film is being financed with European money and has no U.S. deal yet. ”Michael’s popularity in this country has been on the wane,” concedes Green. ”I’m counting on this album to bring him back on top.”