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Colman Domingo to Play Michael Jackson’s Father in Biopic

Lionsgate’s Michael Jackson biopic has cast Colman Domingo to play Joe Jackson, the controversial patriarch of the celebrated musical family.

Domingo, coming off a critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated performance in Rustin, joins Michael, the biopic in production from Lionsgate and slated for a global release on April 18, 2025.  Joe Jackson, the father of Michael, Janet and their eight siblings and the architect of the Jackson 5, died in 2018, aged 89. Michael Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson will play the pop singer.

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“Not only am I fortunate to have a rich, complex and flawed character to portray in Joe Jackson, but I also have a front row seat for Jaafar’s incredible transformation. After seeing him in rehearsal, my mind was blown,” Domingo said in a statement. “There is something divine about the way that Jaafar is channeling his late uncle. His talent and embodiment of Michael’s essence is simply on another level.”

Antoine Fuqua is directing the film from a script by John Logan. “Colman has such incredible range – he puts in the work to deeply inhabit his characters and understand their true essence and motivation. I’m grateful to be working with an actor with his passion and ability to portray the many sides of Joe Jackson: a husband, a father and a manager,” Fuqua said in a statement.

Universal Pictures has international rights for the film, excluding Japan. Graham King, a seasoned hand at biopics with the Oscar-winning Queen film Bohemian Rhapsody under his belt, is producing along with John Branca and John McClain, who are the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate.

According to Lionsgate, the film will cover all aspects of Jackson’s life, though it is unclear how — or even if — it will address the many controversies involving the late music icon, given that the biopic is being made in conjunction with his estate, which has defended him against accusations of sexually abusing children. Those accusations were returned to the public discourse thanks to the 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.

Joe Jackson began working on his kids’ musical careers in the early 1960s, while they were living in Gary, Indiana, bringing Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael into what would eventually become the Jackson 5.

Domingo is also an Emmy winner for his guest role in Euphoria and his other credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Zola and the musical film version The Color Purple.

Domingo is represented by Gersh, Liebman Entertainment, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.

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