UK pubcaster Channel 4 and American premium cable network HBO have slated the premiere date of Dan Reed’s Leaving Neverland for Spring 2019.
Produced by Reed’s Amos Pictures, the two-part series tells the story of two men who recount their experiences of being sexually abused by Michael Jackson – who was acquitted of molestation charges in 2005 and died in 2009.
The docuseries explores the experiences of James Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age seven, who were both befriended by Jackson. Through interviews with both men – now in their 30s – as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, Leaving Neverland looks at the complicated feelings that led Safechuck and Robson to confront their experiences after each had a young son of his own.
“If there’s anything we’ve learned during this time in our history, it’s that sexual abuse is complicated, and survivors’ voices need to be listened to,” said Reed in a statement. “It took great courage for these two men to tell their stories and I have no question about their validity. I believe anyone who watches this film will see and feel the emotional toll on the men and their families, and will appreciate the strength it takes to confront long-held secrets.”
Leaving Neverland was commissioned by Channel 4 commissioning editor Tom Porter.
The Sundance Institute announced Wednesday (Jan. 9) that Leaving Neverland would enjoy its world premiere in the Special Events category during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, held in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort.