Johnny Depp — versatile actor, Hollywood Vampire and overaccessorizer — is adding another hyphenate to his resumé: producer. Granted he’s produced things before, but a stage musical isn’t typically in his wheelhouse. If anything, though, it sounds like it’s going to be a wild ride which seems more up Depp’s alley.
According to Page Six, Depp is producing an unauthorized musical about Michael Jackson. Johnny D and MJ? It already sounds like a fabulous team-up. For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson comes from Julien Nitzberg, and it will be narrated by Michael’s infamous glittery glove (yes, you read that right). Based on the synopsis, the musical will “look into the strange forces that shaped Michael and the scandals that bedeviled his reputation.” And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, picture actors with life-size puppets of celebrities and family members from Michael’s life, including Corey Feldman, Donny Osmond, Emmanuel Lewis and his Jackson 5 siblings. Oh, and Bubbles the Chimp. Can’t ever forget about Bubbles.
“I’m known for writing a lot of biopics,” Nitzberg told Page Six. “A major TV network wanted me to write a [Jackson] movie … but the question came up [about] how to deal with the child-abuse allegations.” He and the network couldn’t come to an agreement but then he tried one last pitch. “I said, ‘How’s this? Everything MJ has been accused of has actually been caused by his glove, which is actually an alien from outer space [and] feeds on virgin boy blood.’ They laughed and said, ‘Can you do the normal version?'” The project didn’t move forward, but Nitzberg always wanted to revisit it as a musical, but couldn’t get the financing. Until now.
Nitzberg had been working on a biopic of Tiny Tim with Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil, which never got the green light. But they maintained a good working relationship, and when asked if he had any other ideas, he pitched them on a “theatre piece you probably aren’t interested in,” his Jackson musical. But clearly they were, and they bit. For the Love of a Glove will debut in L.A. in January. It has the edge on another show, simply titled MJ: The Musical, which is scheduled to hit Broadway later in 2020.
While this may be Depp’s first foray into a live stage production featuring puppets, it’s not his first musical. Depp starred in the film version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 2007, for which he earned his third Oscar nomination, then had a minor role as the Wolf in Into the Woods seven years later.
Depp is currently working on a couple of projects including Minamata, which he both stars in and produces, and is scheduled for a 2020 release. He also has a third Fantastic Beasts movie lined up, set to hit theatres in 2021. Depp is also producing the TV series Muscle Shoals, inspired by the documentary of the same name.