Joseph Fiennes is the man in the rear-view mirror as Michael Jackson in 9/11 road-trip film

The film tells the story of Jackson fleeing New York with Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor

Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Joseph Fiennes,

Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor arriving for Michael Jackson's concert, at Madison Square Garden in New York City on September 7th, 2001 [RAYSON CEWZAN GRAYSON / PA Archive/PA Images]

In what can only be described as history’s most bizarre road trip, Sky Arts is set to screen a one-off drama about the time Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando took it upon themselves to flee New York on September 11th, 2001.

The outlandish-but-allegedly-true story has been turned into a television film by the name of Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon with actors Stockard Channing, Joseph Fiennes, and Brian Cox taking on the respective roles.

The details of the trio’s mad dash to escape New York first appeared in Vanity Fair in 2011 in an interview with Tim Mendelson, a former personal assistant of the two-time Oscar-winning actress. Mendelson alleges that the three hired a car in New Jersey, taking turns in an attempt to drive back to California, with Jackson and Taylor growing increasingly frustrated at Brando’s insistence they keep stopping at every fast-food restaurant on the motorway.

The motley crew managed to make it to Ohio, a distance of more than 800km, before abandoning their plans and flying the rest of the way.

The story was discredited by an unnamed friend of the Taylor’s, who told Vanity Fair that the actress, who had been in the audience at Jackson’s September 7th Madison Square Garden concert with Brando, did not leave the city the following day, despite, as troubled former-childstar Corey Feldman says, the popstar's desperate attempts to convince to go.

Taylor’s unnamed friend claims the actress stayed in New York, praying in a church and meeting first responders before finally flying back to Los Angeles when airports all over the US reopened.

Joseph Fiennes stars as William Shakespeare in the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love [Pixabay]

The dramatisation of the unusual road trip was first announced late last year, with the casting decision of Shakespeare in Love actor Joseph Fiennes as the Prince of Pop widely met with surprise. The actor has described the production as “a challenge,” saying: “It’s a fun, lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek road trip of what celebrity of that kind is like. But also it’s rather beautiful and poignant about their relationships.”

The one-off drama is written by Neil Forsyth, who previously penned the Brian Cox-starring sitcom Bob Servant for BBC Four. The show is produced by LittleRock Pictures, a production company founded by The Royle Family actor Ralf Little and Irish producer and writer Zoe Rocha, the daughter of fashion designer John Rocha.

[H/T: The Guardian]

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