HBO on Tuesday released the first trailer for the highly anticipated and much discussed new Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland.”
The film, which will premiere on HBO on Sunday, March 3, is a four-hour documentary by Dan Reed featuring detailed accounts from two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who say Jackson molested them when they were underage boys. The film premiered during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival last month, and the screening required extra security amid fears that protesters would try to disrupt the film.
The Jackson estate has vehemently opposed the documentary, calling it “the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death.”
In the trailer, Reed paints the Jackson and his Neverland Ranch as the dream for any young person: “Everybody wanted to meet Michael or be with Michael,” one of the film’s subjects says.
“The days were filled with magical childhood adventure experiences — playing tag, watching movies, eating junk food — anything you could ever want as a child,” another person says in a voice-over during shots of Neverland Ranch and kids running around.
“Leaving Neverland” will air in two-parts on HBO. The film explores the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age 7, both of whom were befriended by Jackson. Through interviews with Safechuck, now 37, and Robson, now 41, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had young sons of their own.
“He told me that if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives,” one of the men says in the trailer. “I want to be able to speak the truth as loud as I had to speak the lie for so long.”