Welcome to Outrage Watch, HitFix's semi-regular rundown of entertainment-related kerfuffles. Not anxious enough already? Get your fix of righteous indignation below, and stay posted for outrage updates throughout the week.

Joseph Fiennes is playing Michael Jackson in a movie. I repeat: Joseph Fiennes is playing Michael Jackson in a movie.

Joseph Fiennes, in case you'd forgotten, is the white British actor who rose to fame playing William Shakespeare in the Oscar-winning film Shakespeare in Love opposite Gwyneth Paltrow. Michael Jackson, meanwhile, is the black American entertainer who became the most famous pop-music performer of his time before a round of plastic surgeries rendered him unrecognizable and allegations of child molestation derailed his career.

The new film, which is being produced for British TV, will be an imagining of an alleged (and subsequently refuted) road trip Jackson took with his friends Elizabeth Taylor (to be played by Stockard Channing in the movie) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) between New York City and Ohio immediately following the events of 9/11.

Can any of this be real? Indeed it can. Fiennes himself has confirmed his casting, telling WENN:  

“I got the script the other day. It’s a challenge. It’s a comedy. It doesn’t poke mean fun but it’s a story, possibly urban legend, whereby Michael, Marlon Brando, and Liz Taylor were all together the day before 9/11 doing a concert. Airspace was shut down and they couldn’t get out and Michael had the bright idea to go to hire a car and drive. So the three of them got in a car and drove 500 miles to Los Angeles. It took them a while because they had to stop at a lot of Burger Kings for Marlon; but they got out! It’s a lovely thing about Michael’s relationship with Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando. It’s a fun, light-hearted tongue in cheek road trip of what celebrity of that kind is like. But also it’s rather beautiful and poignant about their relationships as well.”

The casting no doubt presented a challenge for the filmmakers given Jackson's appearance in 2001, which can only be described as: pale. But the Twitters have exploded in acrimony since the Guardian broke the news, which comes on the heels of the #Oscarssowhite debate that has dominated the news cycle since the lily-white crop of 2016 acting nominees were announced.

Here's a sampling of responses:

Now, Orlando Jones may be onto something...

A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.