New music video for Michael Jackson & Freddie Mercury duet directed by Dave LaChapelle leaks online!

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Sergei Polunin

A brand new music video for the posthumously-crafted Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson duet “There Must Be More To Life Than This” has been leaked online.

The video was originally shot and directed by acclaimed fine-art photographer/music video/film director Dave LaChapelle six months ago. It has since remained unreleased, until now.

LaChapelle first mentioned the existence of the “There Must Be More To Life Than This” video project on October 2, 2014, in an interview with Alain Elkann.

“I just finished this video, a new video for Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury of Queen,” revealed LaChapelle. “They made this music in 1982, and I shot it in Hawaii. I think it has a very strong message.”

The video, set in lush tropical greenery on the island of Maui, stays true to the moving an anti-war message Mercury wrote more than three decades ago.

No expense was spared when casting and shooting the video either, which stars world-renowned Ukrainian ballet dancer Sergei Polunin and Australian model Jessica Gomes.

Last month LaChapelle released a stunning compilation of footage from Polunin’s breathtaking dance scene – originally shot for the video. The footage was unofficially applied to Hozier’s 2014 hit “Take Me To Church” and was uploaded via YouTube on February 9, 2015. It is only now, however, that the footage’s initially intended purpose has become clear, with the “There Must Be More To Life Than This” video making its first full-length HD appearance online via Vimeo, and DailyMotion. See below:

“When I first heard this song it made me cry… to hear these two legends sing, and to hear Michael’s voice,” says Gomes, who plays a beautiful angelic figure in the film.  “I love this song and I’m so proud to be apart of this special film. [This is] a song of depth and a timeless, meaningful message. [It was] a true honor to be apart of the NEW Michael Jackson and Queen music video directed by the one and only David LaChapelle, starring world renowned ballet dancer Sergei Polunin.”

Rolling Stone 1999 2000LaChapelle has history with Jackson, having twice shot him before – once for the inaugural issue of Flaunt magazine in September 1998 (the images from which were ultimately never released), and again in 1999 for the millennium cover of Rolling Stone magazine (see left).

LaChapelle has been a staunch defender of Jackson over the years, taking the opportunity afforded to him during a 2010 interview with Nowness to make clear his feelings about the fallen pop superstar.

“I shot Michael for the first issue of Flaunt in 1998 and we used saint candles,” explained LaChapelle. “You know, I’m really not going to talk about the Michael Jackson pictures, or what went into them. I shot him in 1999 for the millennium cover of Rolling Stone and that was the start of an acknowledgment that I was a supporter.”

“We persecuted him,” he continues. “Every person who ever bought a tabloid or watched the news, we all contributed to his death by taking in that form of gossip.”

“Madonna has been torn down. Michael Jordan has been torn down. Michael Jackson was destroyed. Like no other person in our times. You have to remember that Michael Jackson was innocent. He was proved innocent in our courts. If you read the transcripts of the trial it is insanity, it should never have gone to court. We spent tens of millions of dollars to prosecute him when we don’t have money for schools in California.”

In 2010 LaChapelle released his “American Jesus” depiction of Jackson. The fine-art piece is of a seemingly-deceased Jackson laying in the arms of Jesus. This iconic imagery has been subtly but effectively repurposed in the “There Must Be More To Life Than This” music video, as seen below:

american jesus MJ more to life

Left: LaChapelle’s “American Jesus” piece. Right: A shot from the “More To Life” music video.

There has been no official word or announcement as to whether LaChapelle’s interpretation of “There Must Be More To Life Than This” is an officially-commissioned Queen project, or an independent passion project of LaChapelle’s. Either way, the quality of the video is undeniable. LaChapelle’s effort is worlds above previously released posthumous videos that Jackson’s estate and Epic Records have issued on behalf of the King of Pop as far as quality and vision, and would certainly be worthy of an official single release.

Developments to follow as more information becomes available.

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