Leaving Neverland is a new documentary that will focus on sexual abuse allegations made against Michael Jackson by a pair of young boys who were befriended by the worldwide recording superstar. The documentary will be screened in the special event category at the festival in two parts.
On Thursday, Deadline reported that HBO and the UK's Channel 4 also plan to air the documentary - which is directed by The Paedophile Hunter's Dan Reed - after it's debut at Sundance. Jackson frequently hosted groups of young fans, as well as neglected and terminally ill children.
Robson said he first met Jackson when he was 5 years old after winning a competition run by MJJ Productions in his native Australia.
"At the height of his stardom, Michael Jackson began long-running relationships with two boys, aged 7 and 10, and their families", the synopsis adds.
But it's unknown who the two accusers are. It follows two men in their 30s, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who were friends with Jackson as preteens, and who claim he subjected them to sustained abuse.
Robson first sued in 2013, claiming that Jackson abused him for almost a decade. But the case was thrown out in 2017. However, the website for Reed's Amos Pictures shows a photo with Jackson and Robson.
Michael Jackson's estate on Thursday condemned an upcoming documentary about alleged child sexual abuse by the late singer as another "outrageous and pathetic attempt" to cash in on his fame. "Wade Robson and James Safechuck have both testified under oath that Michael never did anything inappropriate toward them". Safechuck and Robson, the latter a self-proclaimed 'master of deception, ' filed lawsuits against Michael's Estate, asking for millions of dollars. Both men have tried to bring their accusations into the courtroom, but their cases were dismissed.
"This so -called "documentary" is just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations", the statement continues. "It's baffling why any credible filmmaker would involve himself with this project", the statement said.
It's unclear how the film will impact Jackson's legacy.
Is Michael Jackson about to go through a post-mortem R. Kelly experience?
Will Leaving Neverland have a similar effect after it premieres, or will the Jackson controversy be left undisturbed?
Then in 2013 Robson filed a lawsuit that said stress and trauma had forced him to face the truth that he was sexually abused by Jackson, who died in 2009. Neverland has since been renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch. The property is valued at $67 million and is now for sale, according to Business Insider.