White Lotus Star Playing George Michael In Upcoming Biopic?

Despite rumors of The White Lotus' Theo James being involved, the Estate of George Michael says no biopic is in development at this time.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Theo James in The White Lotus

Rumors that The White Lotus star Theo James is a frontrunner to play legendary English singer-songwriter George Michael in an upcoming biopic remain unsubstantiated. While Daily Mail reported that a film of the “Careless Whisper” singer was in development and his family had signed off on it, George Michael’s estate has since posted a denial on his official website. While the statement did not mention The White Lotus actor, it also sounds pretty definitive. 

Here’s the statement:

To all of George’s Lovelies, fans and lovers of his music, a story has been published stating that George Michael’s family has endorsed a so called ‘biopic’ about his life… On behalf of George’s family and GME we want to make it clear that there is no truth whatsoever in this story, we know nothing about this project and will not be endorsing it in any way.

According to The Advocate, Theo James himself has expressed interest in playing George Michael in a rock biopic. In an appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, James said “Oh yeah, I would love that,” speaking about the potential George Michael biopic. He followed that up by describing the Wham! Singer by saying “He’s a lot of Greek, and I’m a lot of Greek. Put that Greek together, and you get falafel.” George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou to a Greek-Cypriot immigrant father, while Theo James’ full name is Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis.

george michael biopic

While plans for a George Michael biopic seem up in the air, it is not for any shortage of interesting events in the singer’s life. He first rose to fame as part of the 1980s synth-pop duo Wham! alongside Andrew Ridgeley, reaching the top of both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, along with multiple hit singles like  “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas.” While the band never became a critical favorite, they were massively popular on a global scale and became the first Western band to tour the People’s Republic of China.

As if that would not be enough material for a George Michael biopic, the singer began a solo career in 1984 and swiftly became one of the most prominent pop musicians on MTV in the early days of the burgeoning network. His album Faith ended up selling 25 million copies worldwide and had four Billboard number-one singles, making him one of the best-selling musical artists ever. 

Unfortunately for George Michael in life, but good for a second act in a biopic, George Michael also dealt with severe personal issues, including drug addiction and an arrest for public lewdness in 1998 that eventually caused him to publicly announce his homosexuality. For the rest of his life, George Michael continued to perform and produce music and was a dedicated philanthropist, frequently donating vast sums of money to charities and individuals anonymously. He passed away of heart complications on Christmas Day, 2016. 

Films about famous musicians never go out of fashion, so it feels like there will be a George Michael biopic sooner or later. His occasional duet partner, Elton John, was portrayed by Taron Egerton in Rocketman, while Rami Malek played one of his biggest heroes, Queen’s Freddie Mercury, in Bohemian Rhapsody. If we are still making movies about Elvis, it seems like we should get a George Michael movie too.