Jaafar Jackson is portraying his uncle Michael Jackson in Lionsgate’s upcoming biopic “Michael,” directed by Antoine Fuqua.
“Michael” is expected to depict the complicated legacy of the man who became known as the King of Pop. According to the studio, the film will explore all aspects of his life, “including his most iconic performances that led him to become the greatest entertainer of all time.”
The film is being made with the cooperation of the Michael Jackson estate, which may influence the way “Michael” depicts the multiple allegations of child sexual abuse that were brought against Jackson during his career and following his death. Jackson has denied allegations of child sexual abuse and he was tried, and found not guilty, of child molestation in 2003. Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50 and always maintained his innocence, but the claims continue to cloud his legacy.
“Michael” will be the first major film role for Jaafar Jackson, the second-youngest son to songwriter, producer and Jackson 5 member Jermaine Jackson, whose brother was Michael Jackson.
“Jaafar embodies my son. It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers,” said the singer’s mother Katherine Jackson.
Producer Graham King, whose credits include “Bohemian Rhapsody,” says the team administered a worldwide casting search before finding the actor who would portray Jackson.
“I met Jaafar over two years ago and was blown away by the way he organically personifies the spirit and personality of Michael,” said King. “It was something so powerful that even after conducting a worldwide search, it was clear that he is the only person to take on this role. I am beyond thrilled that he has come on board to portray his uncle and cannot wait for the world to see him on the big screen as Michael Jackson.”
“It’s incredibly exciting to watch Jaafar bring Michael to life,” said Fuqua. “There was such a spiritual connection when I first met Jaafar, who has a natural ability to emulate Michael and such a great chemistry with the camera.”
“Michael” will begin principal photography in 2023. John Logan, who wrote “Gladiator,” “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” is penning the screenplay.