History’s freakiest road trip is being dramatised for a one-off special on Sky Arts.

After the terrorist attacks in September 2001, celebrity pals Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando got in a car and tried to drive back to California – or so the story goes, as reported in Vanity Fair in 2011.

Jackson had invited the pair to his Madison Square Garden concert, but when planes were cancelled after 9/11, the three of them hired a car and tried to drive home, getting as far as Ohio.

The story was denied by one of Taylor’s assistants, who said the actor stayed behind in New York, but the myth has only grown, and now the tale is being turned into a one-off movie on Sky Arts. Shakespeare in Love actor Joseph Fiennes has signed up to play Jackson, Stockard Channing will play Taylor and Brian Cox has been cast as Brando.

Fiennes has now described the script as “a challenge”, saying: “It’s a fun, lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek road trip of what celebrity of that kind is like. But also it’s rather beautiful and poignant about their relationships.”

According to Fiennes, the road trip “took them a while because they had to stop at a lot of Burger Kings for Marlon”.

The script comes from Neil Forsyth, who previously wrote Delete This at Your Peril, a collection of email conversations with internet con artists.

Meanwhile, Jackson’s last days are the subject of a new TV series in development from by biographer Tavis Smiley, and that screenplay about Bubbles is still kicking around. 

Watch the real Michael in the trailer for Spike Lee’s new documentary about the Off The Wall era. [via Guardian]

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