Along with the Fyre Festival films, Leaving Neverland has been one of the most talked about documentaries of 2019 so far. It turns out that director Dan Reed thinks there’s more to say when it comes to Michael Jackson, and he has expressed a desire to make a Leaving Neverland sequel.
In a recent interview with The Film Stage, Reed said that he is interested in making a movie about Jackson’s 2005 trial (The People of the State of California v. Michael Joe Jackson), in which he was accused of molesting Gavin Arvizo, who was 13 years old at the time. Jackson was famously found not guilty on all 14 counts, which included four counts of molesting a minor, four counts of intoxicating a minor to molest him, and others.
During the conversation, Reed said, “I shot interviews with LAPD and Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department who investigated. I had a great interview with the main prosecutor, the deputy DA from the 2005 trial. We hadn’t put those in because I had a strong feeling it needed to remain a claustrophobic story about two families.”
To close the interview, he was asked about using that footage in a potential Leaving Neverland sequel, and that’s when Reed discussed a possible documentary about the trial:
“Oh yeah, I would love to do that. The film I would really like to make following this one is the trial of Michael Jackson. I could only do that if the victim and his family participate. It would be a much weaker film (if they didn’t). I don’t want to follow Leaving Neverland with a weaker film. If Gavin Arvizo and his family would agree to participate, I would very much like to tell the story of that trial. I think it’s fascinating and astonishing that Michael was acquitted. The way that happened is an amazing story and one that should be told. But no, I’m not going to just carry on making Michael Jackson films, that’s not my thing. Like I said, this wasn’t a film about Michael Jackson.”