Sky Arts has unveiled the trailer for its new comedy show Urban Myths, starring Joseph Fiennes as pop icon Michael Jackson — a casting decision that sparked uproar when it was first announced last year.
The Grand Budapest Hotel actor features in a half-hour episode of the eight-part series alongside Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando. The show recreates rumors about celebrities, and Fiennes’ episode centers around the time the three stars supposedly shared a car as they fled New York following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The controversy surrounds the fact that Fiennes, who is white, plays an African-American musician. “This is territory that is sensitive,” he told the Associated Press last year. “One must determine if this portrayal is one that is going to be positive entertainment, and one that will not bring about division and put anyone’s noses out of joint, so I went with the mind that this was a positive light-hearted comedy.”
“I deal in imagination, so I don’t think imagination should have rules stamped on them,” he continued. “If it promotes stereotyping, then it’s wrong. I made a distinction that the Jackson project doesn’t do that.”
The trailer gives us our first look at Fiennes’ portrayal, which Jezebel described as “horrifying” and a “nightmare,” when he, Taylor and Brando are pulled over by a shocked police officer. “I sensed danger!” Jackson says as Taylor drives away. “You always had such keen senses, Michael,” she replies. Cox’s Brando adds: “Like when he sensed Prince was trying to kill his monkey through dreams.”
The trailer also includes appearances from Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones‘ Ramsay Bolton) as Adolf Hitler, Rupert Grint as his friend, Ben Chaplin as Cary Grant, Aidan Gillen as Dr. Timothy Leary, Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan, and David Threlfall as writer Samuel Beckett. Check out the trailer above.
In other TV news, here’s why The Sopranos is still the greatest TV show of all time.
- Source: Entertainment Weekly