Look Upon The First Image of Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson, and Despair


It wasn’t that long ago that we first heard about the bonkers premise for “Elizabeth, Michael, & Marlon,” an episode of the new UK show Urban Myths. The pitch for the anthology series is actually a decent one, as each episode will explore in length an “urban myth” of the past, using famous British actors to present the myth as though it were true. It’s a wacky idea that would lend itself to some goofiness, and as far as goofiness goes, you can’t get sillier than the premise for “Elizabeth, Michael, & Marlon,” which will tell the story of a road trip that Michael Jackson took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando shortly after 9/11 (ALLEGEDLY!) But if the first image from the episode is any indication, 9/11 isn’t the only disaster that the episode will spend time dwelling upon. Because JESUS CHRIST GUYS, LOOK AT HIS FUCKING FACE.

Plastered all over the internet, it’s likely you’ve already seen actor Joseph Fiennes (American Horror Story) in full horror make-up as the Prince of Pop, and if you’re like me, you can’t really unsee it either. Sure Michael Jackson’s late appearance was creepy in its own right, but MAN — this is legitimately frightening. The bizarre nose, the big eyes, the pointed chin: this is either Michael Jackson, or the titular character of the new horror movie The Bye Bye Man (in theaters this Friday!) It’s so terrible and so misguided that, even if the episode is a hell of a lot of fun, I don’t think it will be possible for me to watch it. It’s like Grand CGI Tarkin x100 — and yet I still can’t stop looking back at it. Like a horrific car crash, or some kind of Lynch-ian nightmarescape.

But for what it’s worth, the people behind Urban Myths shouldn’t be surprised by the reaction. The moment they cast Joseph Fiennes in the role, they should have known it would only result in terror. You simply can’t replicate the 2000’s version of Michael Jackson, and if you try, you’ll just create something even more horrifying. I guess Nietzche was right with his most famous passage, quoted verbatim below:

He who plays Michael Jackson should be careful, lest he thereby become Michael Jackson. And if thou put on makeup long enough to BECOME Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson stares back at YOU.

And in the words of an equally talented philosopher:

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