While the late, great Michael Jackson is most famous for his music, the man loved to make movies about himself and his songs, and as a megastar he had his pick of some of the most respected directors of our time. Granted, not all of the films were very good, and most were simply long-form music videos, but all were jam-packed full of enough ideas to make a feature-length movie out of. In honor of the man, what say we get today's hottest directors to remake his films? (We'll leave the challenge of recasting the Jackson role to more talented casting directors than ourselves.)
American Werewolf in London director John Landis was presumably chosen to helm this classic mini-movie for Jackson's hit song of the same name because Jackson turns into a werewolf in it. The song also features the vocal stylings of Vincent Price, and in its most indelible image, Jackson goes zombie on us and dances with a horde of the undead.
Director Detector: Since the film depicts Jackson as both a werewolf and a zombie, why not get Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen helmer Zack Snyder to handle the do-over? If the man can make running zombies work, he can definitely make dancing zombies work.
Captain Eo (1986)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script by Coppola and George Lucas, Eo saw space cadet Jackson captaining a ship crewed entirely by Muppets, fighting through an enemy fleet to deliver a gift to the creepy Giger-esque queen of a Borg-like techno-world. That gift? A circuitry-obliterating song. Awww.
Director Detector: Since J.J. Abrams oversaw the clash of clean and ugly technology in Star Trek, and he's clearly not above the use of CGI monsters and little people in creepy makeup, why not get him to flightsuit up and make the trek to space again?
Since this video takes place on the mean streets (well, under them) and features the gangs of New York (or is it Chicago?), Martin Scorsese was the perfect choice to direct Michael Jackson's greatest dancing gang-fight video since "Beat It." And Wesley Snipes was perfect to play the not-particularly-impressed rival gang-banger.
Director Detector: When we think of one guy taking on a gang, we think of The Transporter franchise, and the second film's director, Louis Leterrier, not only gave us some highly balletic battles, he also gave us the street fight to end all street fights in The Incredible Hulk. Bring back Snipes to play the gang leader with a grudge, and the martial arts moves would fly fast and furious.
While Moonwalker is made up of several short films and music videos, the centerpiece -- an extended video for "Smooth Criminal" directed by Superman and X-Men special effects supervisor Colin Chilvers -- stars Jackson as a white-suited 1930s-style gangster who has to rescue some ragamuffins from evil drug dealer Joe Pesci. The twist? Jackson is a Transformer, turning into a futuristic car, a robot and a spaceship within the span of the film.
Director Detector: Getting Transformers director Michael Bay to remake it is a no-brainer. He'd even throw in some bigger explosions for free.
One of Jackson's last starring roles, Ghosts told the tale of a creepy guy on the edge of town who gets a visit from the townspeople, brandishing torches and telling him to stay away from their kids. (Hitting the nail on the head much?) Through the makeup magic of director Stan Winston, Jackson plays both his creepy self and the stocky white mayor who wants him gone.
Director Detector: With Drag Me to Hell, Sam Raimi recently showed us that he still has the horror gene within him, so pull him off of the Spider-Man franchise (please!) and get him cracking on this.
What was your favorite Michael Jackson role?