Director Dan Reed is working on a sequel to his Emmy award-winning documentary Leaving Neverland.
Wade Robson and James Safechuck’s allegations that Michael Jackson sexually assaulted them when they were minors formed the basis of Reed’s previous documentary for Channel 4 and HBO.
And now, according to Deadline, Reed has been filming Robson and Safechuck in their fight against Jackson’s legacy companies MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures in Los Angeles Superior Court.
However, while Reed is attempting to use the footage for a follow-up movie for Channel 4, he and his production company Amos Pictures were apparently served with subpoenas on 21 September demanding he appears in a deposition and hand over documents and materials relating to Leaving Neverland and its potential sequel.
Following the subpoenas, Jackson’s attorneys filed a brief in which they attempted to discredit Reed by making various allegations including that he paid Safechuck and Robson to appear in his films – while also trying to ban him from filming inside the courtroom.
Hitting back, Reed filed his own motion to quash the subpoenas – stating that as he is a U.K. resident and Amos Pictures doesn’t operate in California, it would be hard for a judge to make him hand over production materials.
“The follow-up documentary for which I am currently filming in these cases is about current events taking place partly in public view and will be an unfolding narrative with multiple points of view,” he said in the 79-page motion, which was supported by a declaration from Louisa Compton – the head of Channel 4’s news and current affairs.
“In particular, we at Channel 4 oppose their effort to use subpoenas to try to force Reed and his company to turn over all of their unpublished materials and drag this journalist into depositions,” she said.
A hearing on Reed’s motion to quash the subpoenas will take place on 9 April.
Deadline added that HBO is “unlikely to be involved in the second Leaving Neverland film” – due to their “own ongoing legal dispute with the Jackson estate”.
Apparently, Amos Pictures is currently shopping around for another U.S. co-production partner.
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