Joseph Fiennes to star as Michael Jackson in new TV special
Actor Joseph Fiennes has been cast as singer Michael Jackson in a new TV special.
The casting was announced as part of a new Sky Arts programme titled Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon.
It tells the unlikely story of a post-9/11 road trip where Michael, Elizabeth Taylor (Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) hired a car and drove from New York to Ohio in an attempt to get home to California.
Fiennes, who is the younger brother of fellow actor Ralph Fiennes, will play the late singer.
Jackson's appearance changed dramatically over the course of his career, as he suffered from the skin condition vitiligo and also underwent extensive plastic surgery.
A spokesperson said: "Sky Arts gives producers the creative freedom to cast roles as they wish, within the diversity framework which we have set."
Details of the alleged September 2001 journey came out in a Vanity Fair article a decade later, when a former employee of Jackson said: " They actually got as far as Ohio - all three of them, in a car they drove themselves."
Whether the road trip actually happened or not is disputed, as Taylor's assistant has said she stayed in New York after the terrorist attack.
Fiennes recently starred in TV series American Horror Story in the US. He is best known for his portrayal of Will Shakespeare in 1998's Shakespeare In Love.
The one-off 30-minute comedy will air later this year, as part of a series of programmes about unlikely stories from arts and cultural history.