HBO Drops First Trailer For Michael Jackson Doc Leaving Neverland

HBO has dropped the first trailer for Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, which explores the experiences of two people who became friends with the late singer as young boys.

Directed and produced by Emmy nominated British filmmaker Dan Reed, the two-part doc explores allegations of sexual misconduct on minors against the late pop star Michael Jackson, telling the story of Wade Robson and James 'Jimmy' Safechuck - who were 10 and seven years old when they first met the performer.

The synopsis for the two-part doc reads: "Leaving Neverland is a two-part documentary exploring the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age seven, both of whom were befriended by Michael Jackson.

"Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 37, and Robson, now 41, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of his own."

Michael Jackson with Wade Robson. Credit: HBO
Michael Jackson with Wade Robson. Credit: HBO

Jackson's estate has dismissed Leaving Neverland as 'yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson'.

"This so called 'documentary' is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations," the estate said in a statement.

Jackson's nephew, Taj Jackson, also started a crowdfunding page to raise money to make a counter-documentary to defend the late singer.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the reaction to the film from those who have already seen it have been intense.

Many critics got the chance to catch the documentary at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, where one film writer referred to the story as 'more disturbing than you could imagine'.

Another critic said they felt 'sick' watching the two-part film, tweeting: "Feel sick to my stomach after watching Part 1 of #LeavingNeverland doc.

"Michael Jackson witnesses/sex abuse victims coming off very credible. It's so sexually explicit that counselors are in the lobby."

Leaving Neverland will be shown on Channel 4 at 9pm on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 March.

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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