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Filmmaker to Make Michael Jackson Film After Mel Gibson Snub

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Aug 02, 2005 | 12:10pm EDT

Filmmaker Bryan Michael Stoller is keen to make a movie based on pal Michael Jackson's idea after Mel Gibson turned the project down.

Stoller found Jackson's ideas about a movie adaptation of Jennings Michael Burch's hit book They Cage the Animals at Night compelling and set about getting it made in 2000, and at one point had movie mogul Gibson interested.

He tells MTV News, "Michael handed me this book, They Cage the Animals at Night, and said he'd been wanting to turn it into a movie and thought I'd be the perfect co-director for it.

"I submitted the book to Mel Gibson's Icon Productions, and Gibson actually liked the book a lot. I spoke with Mel and he wanted to meet Michael. They had never met.

"I set up a meeting between the three of us. It was pretty interesting--here I am, a country boy from Canada, introducing Mel Gibson to Michael Jackson. We sat for three hours."

Gibson's Icon Productions company has since lost interest, but Stoller is still keen to get the project made.

"It's a true story of Burch in the late '40s, growing up in orphanages, and how rough a time he had. He had no real friends all he had was stuffed animals."

Stoller insists Jackson is so passionate about the project because he feels his childhood mirrors that of author Burch's.

He explains, "Michael feels that he grew up like an orphan; he wasn't imprisoned in an orphanage, but he was pretty much imprisoned in hotel rooms by his father, and Michael said he used to stare outside at the kids playing basketball or doing normal kid things."

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