Michael Jackson biopic cast singer’s nephew Jaafar Jackson in lead role
Director Antoine Fuqua’s forthcoming Michael Jackson biopic, Michael, has finally found its lead star.
Reports first emerged in 2019 that Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King had acquired the rights to make a film based on the life of the late singer in all of its “complexity”.
He had also acquired the rights to use all of Jackson’s music in the movie, which will explore the singer’s “complex life”.
Now, a few years later, with the Emancipation director officially attached, it has been revealed that Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson will portray his uncle in the movie.
“Jaafar embodies my son. It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers,” said Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson (via Variety).
Jaafar is the second youngest son of Jermaine Jackson, songwriter, producer, Jackson 5 member and older brother of Jackson.
Producer King said the team had cast a worldwide search before landing on Jaafar as the film’s lead.
“I met Jaafar over two years ago and was blown away by the way he organically personifies the spirit and personality of Michael,” King shared.
“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.”
Fuqua added: “It’s incredibly exciting to watch Jaafar bring Michael to life.
“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.”
The film, which is expected to include Jackson’s “most iconic performances that led him to become the greatest entertainer of all time”, is being made in cooperation with the Michael Jackson Estate.
An earlier report from Deadline had said the controversies surrounding Jackson “will not be ignored in a film that will span his entire life”.
Jackson was investigated twice over allegations of child molestation. He was not charged in 1994, but he went to trial in 2005 and was acquitted on all counts.
The “Billie Jean” singer, who died in 2009 of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication at 50, always maintained his innocence.