The state’s film commission has announced that the Lionsgate biopic, “Michael,” based on the life of Michael Jackson, is set to receive more than $21 million in tax credits from California.
According to the commission, the movie is expected to generate around $120 million in qualified in-state spending, making it the highest-grossing project in the history of the state’s tax credit program.
The project, which was announced earlier this year, will star Jaafar, Jackson’s nephew, in the lead role, with John Branca and John McClain producing alongside Graham King.
However, the film has been met with controversy, as Dan Reed, the director of “Leaving Neverland,” a documentary that accused Jackson of sexually assaulting two young boys, criticized the biopic in a column for The Guardian, claiming it would “glorify a man who raped children.”
In addition to “Michael,” the state film commission announced that “The Thomas Crown Affair” will receive $13.8 million in tax credits, while an untitled Disney live-action film will be awarded $11.3 million. “The Thomas Crown Affair” had previously been granted $19.6 million in August, but withdrew its request and reapplied.
With $21.1 million in tax credits, “Michael” is now one of the largest beneficiaries of the state’s tax credit program, with previous recipients including “Bumblebee” with $22.3 million, “Space Jam 2” with $21.8 million, and “Top Gun: Maverick” with $21.4 million.
It’s worth noting that only the first $100 million of “qualified” in-state spending is eligible for the state’s 20% tax credit. While Netflix has been a major recipient of tax credits in the past, it did not appear on the latest list.
In an effort to attract more productions and curb the practice of “runaway production,” California has been actively working to enhance its tax incentives. The state had reportedly lost out on nearly $8 billion in economic activity due to this phenomenon, according to a recent estimate by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) for the Motion Picture Association (MPA), a trade organization representing major studios that have benefited from the tax credits.
The full list:
“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
“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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