As one could have just assumed, news is circulating that a Michael Jackson biopic is in the works, with Jackson’s estate negotiating with Ivan Reitman’s production company over the rights to his life story.
Knowing how the Jackson clan operates, it’s likely that these talks could take a while. But that hasn’t stopped Irish bookmaking firm from setting odds on who they think will play the once-black entertainer. Of course, the menu of choices that the site presents is batshit insane, with Johnny Depp and Zac Efron the odds-on favorites. Would anyone really bet a dollar to make four that Johnny Depp will play Michael Jackson in the Michael Jackson biopic?

Of course, the site has no idea who will play Jackson, nor does anyone else, so these odds exist solely to screw people out of their money. That said, it’s a pretty slow news day, and I feel like making fun of something, so let’s examine some of the contenders.

4/1 Johnny Depp

I guess they both have long hair. Johnny Depp has a skinny face, and a penchant for burying himself in makeup, but I just see him as too terribly “different” than MJ for this to make any sense. Of course, if there’s a big project on the horizon, it’s always a safe bet to include Depp’s name in the discussions, but not at these odds.

If Tim Burton’s name gets mentioned, these odds flip to ¼.

9/2 Zac Efron

WHY? Why would Zac Efron even be on this list? Because he’s a living, breathing actor? That’s pretty much the only reason he would be included. Charlie St. Cloud danced in that High School Musical series, but that’s a far cry from playing the King of Pop in a biopic. Also, this seems a good time to bring up that I would love to see any of these adult actors play young, black Michael. Especially if the actor is white. I would love to see Zac in blackface and an afro wig singing “Rockin’ Robin.” I can actually hear NAACP execs snapping pencils as I think about it.

6/1 Usher

He dances as well as Michael, but he looks absolutely nothing like him. And considering his best acting credit so far is as the DJ in She’s All That, we should probably keep moving.

6/1 Jaden Smith

Or Willow. I don’t really know what the difference is anyway. I mean, the best way to demonstrate the path that a damage adult (Jackson) went down is to portray them with a damaged child actor on the same path (either Smith tot). Will Smith could play Joe Jackson, which sort of makes sense. This choice is my odds-on favorite, but far from my personal fave.

8/1 Will Smith

No. Just imagine this for a second. Then stop imagining it because you will laugh too hard and hurt yourself. Well, maybe. It is the new millennium. Excuse me. Willenium.

8/1 Jamie Foxx

He was a good fit for Ray. He’s a bad fit for Michael. Can someone please tell this Irish bookie that not all black people look the same?

10/1 Andre 3000

Personal fave. Right here. I think I could watch Andre 3000 mow the lawn for 120 minutes and be entertained. He can sing, he can dance, he can sort of act, and he looks like a Jackson more than anyone else on this list. Plus, he would probably toss a song or two on the soundtrack, possibly an MJ cover, and that would be amazeballs.

12/1 Justin Timberlake

Just Timberlake can sing and dance but is white. Also, he’s big fan of Michael’s, so I doubt that he’ll be eager to take on this role.

12/1 Randy Jackson

Nope. Randy Jackson weighs like 460 pounds, Dawg.

16/1 Crispin Glover

Why the shit is Crispin Glover on this list? This makes no sense to me. He plays weird roles in small films, but who the hell would turn over a blockbuster film to George McFly?

16/1 Chris Brown

Speaking of “bad people to turn a franchise over to,” let’s talk about Chris Brown. I’m guessing CB couldn’t get cast in a SpikeTV original film right now, let alone a big Hollywood project. He can dance, but he also has more baggage than a passenger ship. I don’t think producers would want the star of their film fielding questions about battering his girlfriend. Just a hunch.

20/1 Chris Tucker

He’s too loud to play Michael Jackson. He’s too loud to play anything, really.

20/1 Jared Leto

“This Novemeber…Jared Leto IS Michael Jackson.” I would love to see him do this just to see how high Mr. Leto could ratchet up his smugness. My guess is his ceiling is pretty high.

20/1 Adrian Grenier

They both have curly hair. End of similarities.

25/1 Derek Hough

I don’t know who this is.

40/1 Justin Bieber

Biebs has his own thing going at this point. I don’t think he really needs to play the King of Pop to become the King of Pop. Same for JT, as well. Also, he’s a short white Canadian kid that looks like a lesbian librarian.

40/1 Denzel Washington

Now you’re just getting racist,

40/1 Will.I.Am

Hmm. Not as stupid as many of these choices. Will.I.Am doesn’t look anything like MJ. A Wyclef Jean biopic, maybe. But not MJ. Also, I just realized I have no idea if he can sing or not. I’m guessing no.

40/1 Eddie Murphy

Ugh. No.

50/1 Kenny Wormald

Yeah, the guy from Footloose won’t be playing Michael Jackson. I saw a guy dancing at a bus stop while I was running yesterday. Should we put that guy’s odds at 50/1 because he dances?

50/1 Pharell Williams

As best I know Pharell has never starred in a film. Oh. Wait. He was in a 2009 episode of 90210 as 50% of N.E.R.D. He’s totally qualified to star in any movie ever.

80/1 Kevin Bacon

I could see him feeding wine to children, so that puts Mr. Pancetta closer than most people on this list.

100/1 Channing Tatum

Where’s Corey Feldman? Channing Tatum is like the 2011 equivalent of 1988 Corey Feldman, and the Feld-man dressed like MJ almost as a matter of course.


100/1 Keanu Reeves

The oddsmakers were clearly just grabbing names from IMDB at this point. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I don’t think that Keanu would be a very good Michael Jackson.

Each name on this list is ridiculous in its own special way. If you have any god-awful suggestions, or actually good ones, toss them in the comments, and I will do my best to respond and tell you why you’re wrong.