First Look: Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson in ‘Urban Myths’ Trailer

Sky Arts released the first trailer for its eight-part television series Urban Myths on Wednesday — and the clip is making the rounds online with lightning speed due to its containing the first images of actor Joseph Fiennes as late pop superstar Michael Jackson.

Urban Myths: A Brand New Collection of Comedies consists of eight episodes featuring some of the most legendary tall tales about celebrities. In the Michael Jackson episode, Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor (Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) take a cross-country road trip after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Other episodes reportedly tackle maybe-true, maybe-not stories about Cary Grant, Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali, Alice Cooper, Samuel Beckett, the Sex Pistols and even a young Adolf Hitler.

Fiennes’ casting as Jackson drew intense criticism when it was announced last year. The actor later defended the role in an interview with the Associated Press, though he said he was as “shocked” as anyone to have been casted in the part.

“I deal in imagination, so I don’t think imagination should have rules stamped on them,” he told the AP. “If it promotes stereotyping, then it’s wrong. I made a distinction that the Jackson project doesn’t do that.”

The release of the trailer has done nothing to quell the criticism, judging from the reaction on social media Wednesday.

Urban Myths is due to premiere January 19. Watch the trailer above.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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