Michael Jackson’s Abandoned Multimillion Dollar Neverland Ranch Revived for Upcoming Biopic

Never say never to Neverland Ranch. The fabled estate once owned by the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, is making a comeback. 

Michael Jackson
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – NOVEMBER 10: Michael Jackson performs on stage during is “HIStory” world tour concert at Ericsson Stadium November 10, 1996 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Jackson, whose estate is worth an estimated $2 billion, owned Neverland Ranch for 21 years from 1988 until he died in 2009. 

Neverland Ranch is being featured in the upcoming biopic of Jackson’s life. Several reports reveal that film permits have been established with Santa Barbara County. The biopic is slated to hit movie theaters in 2025.

According to SF Gate, film permits filed for Neverland Ranch for the use of “dialogue, petting zoo, stunt,” were included along with neighboring Figueroa Mountain Road to be used during daytime hours and included using helicopters. An estimated 310 crew members are added to the permit along with special effects such as smoke

In addition, several buildings are currently under renovation along with the restoration of the amusement park rides that once made Neverland such a mesmerizing space for Jackson’s fans. 

Jackson’s Love for Neverland Ranch 

In 1983 while shooting a video for the duet, “Say, Say, Say,” with Paul McCartney, Jackson discovered Sycamore Valley Ranch. Five years later, Jackson purchased the property for $19.5 million. He renamed the 2,700-acre estate Neverland Ranch. 

Jackson turned the estate into a fantastical space–much like Neverland Island featured in the story of Peter Pan. In addition to the 12,000-square-foot mansion, the estate included 21 other buildings, a swimming pool, basketball court, tennis court, movie theater, and a four-acre lake with a waterfall. Also featured on the property was an amusement park, several gardens, and a petting zoo.

But by 2003, continuous allegations of sexual abuse led to a police raid of the property. Helicopters and television crews provided onlookers with live coverage of the event. And while Jackson was ultimately acquitted of criminal charges, he would never return to Neverland Ranch. Before his death in 2009, Jackson was struggling to keep the property. In 2007, reports of foreclosure were on the horizon as he had defaulted on a $24 million loan but an investment company purchased the loan, allowing Jackson to retain an unknown portion of the property. Nevertheless, by 2008, the amusement rides were carried away–finding new homes in parks in New York City and Kentucky. 

For several years, the property sat abandoned, but ultimately businessman Ronald Burkle purchased the property in 2020 for $22 million. 

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