The Unbelievably True Story Of How Michael Jackson Almost Became Spider-Man

Let’s just start by clearing the air: Michael Jackson was a weird guy, but he probably never molested anyone. He was accused twice, once in 1993, and another time in 2005. The 1993 trial was settled out of court and the 2005 accusation lead to a ‘not guilty’ verdict for Jackson. The claims were were shady, but convincing enough that just about everyone believed them.

I guess that’s what happens when you look the part.

Yes, it was weird that he slept in bed with children and teenage boys. But even after all these years — while spearheading a campaign to take down Hollywood’s pedophiles — Corey Feldman has continued to say that Michael Jackson is innocent. And that’s coming from Corey Feldman, a former child star who was sexually abused countless times. Although Feldman was a long time friend of Michael Jackson, his defense of the King Of Pop is still pretty convincing. It would be like if Martin Luther King Jr said that his neighbour Joe wasn’t racist — you kinda just have to trust him. 

Michael Jackson’s public persona was as equally bizarre as his looks, which helped fuel the accusations. He had a soft-spoken voice (which some have suggested was fake) and he had an unhealthy obsession with never wanting to grow up. From naming his home The Neverland Ranch to hanging out with child stars, Michael Jackson was a boy trapped inside of a man’s body. The only difference between him and an average American boy is that he had access to an insane amount of money. Money that he was free to spend on ridiculous (but admittedly amazing) things — like a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles.

So, Michael Jackson did what any child with all the money in the world would try to do: he tried to become Spider-Man.

No, I don’t mean literallyBut that would have been cool, too.

Michael Jackson had been obsessed with Spider-Man for most of his life. In fact, he was just an overall massive fan of comic books. He had life size statues of superheroes in his home, one-of-a-kind comic book prints, and he even had a rubber Batman costume molded over a life-size replica of himself. Weird, but cool nonetheless.

With all the money in the world, in a time before comic book movies dominated the box office, Michael Jackson approached Stan Lee and asked to make a Spider-Man movie. Stan Lee felt that when he was approached, Michael Jackson had the intention to play Spider-Man in the movie. Stan Lee responded by saying that Marvel would never give Jackson the rights to Spider-Man. So, the moon-walking money machine asked Stan Lee how much it would cost to buy Marvel.

You can listen to Stan Lee recount the experience below:

I like to imagine a world where Michael Jackson did buy Marvel. Instead of having Spider-Man starring Toby MaGuire, we could have had Spider-Man starring Michael Jackson. Instead of having Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr, we could have had Iron Man starring Michael Jackson. Hell, we could have had a version of Infinity War where Michael Jackson plays every character.

Had Michael Jackson’s timing been a little better, he could have bought Marvel for a fraction of what he was earning through his music. Like, it’s almost scary how Michael Jackson’s career lined up perfectly with the initial downfall of Marvel.

Let me explain.

Back in 1989, Marvel Entertainment Group was bought by a man named Ron Perelman for around $82,500,000. That same year, Michael Jackson made $125,000,000 — earning close to a total of $300,000,000 in the 1980’s. He was a money making machine that, with the right budgeting, could have purchased Marvel and lived his dream by becoming Spider-Man. But he didn’t.

Perelman ran Marvel into the ground, and the company had to sell their stories to movie studios in order to stay afloat. A decade later, Marvel Studios (aka the Marvel Cinematic Universe) was created. And, in 2015, Disney bought Marvel for $4,000,000,000. That’s billion. With a B.

At the time of his death, Michael Jackson was an estimated $500,000,000 in debt. Had Michael Jackson bought Marvel back in 1989 and made his Marvel movies, he may have been happy and healthy enough that he would still be alive today. With a few hit movies, he would have been a billionaire.

I would do anything to live in the reality where Michael Jackson bought Marvel. After all, we saw how entertaining Michael Jackson could be when he briefly appeared in Men In Black 2.

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