Jaafar's performance "goes beyond the physical resemblance," said director Antoine Fuqua. "It's Michael’s spirit that comes through in a magical way."
Michael Jackson’s nephew Jaafar is channeling the man in the mirror.
The image sees Jaafar, who is Jermaine Jackson’s son, recreate an exact image of Michael taken by Kevin Mazur during the singer’s 1992-1993 Dangerous Tour. In it, the 27-year-old appears to be the spitting image of his uncle as he sings into a microphone while sporting a V-neck, white long-sleeve top, and black trousers.
"With Jaafar, every look, every note, every dance move is Michael,” producer Graham King said in a press release. “He embodies Michael in a way that no other actor could."
While Fuqua explained that they’ve “assembled an incredible team of artists for this project” including “some who knew and worked with Michael during his lifetime," he said it's Jaafar who truly seals the deal. “It's Jaafar who embodies Michael," he said. "It goes beyond the physical resemblance. It’s Michael’s spirit that comes through in a magical way. You have to experience it to believe it.”
The replicated image was taken by Mazur more than three decades later on the film's set.
“When I walked onto the set, I felt like I’d gone back in time and I was walking into the stadium to shoot the tour. Seeing Jaafar perform, I thought, ‘Wow, it is Michael,’” the photographer said. “The way he looks and acts, his mannerisms, everything — he's Michael Jackson. For anyone who didn’t have the chance to see Michael perform live during his lifetime — this is how it was.”
Written by John Logan, Michael is described as “a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became known worldwide as the King of Pop,” per a press release.
“The film presents his triumphs and tragedies on an epic, cinematic scale — from his human side and personal struggles to his undeniable creative genius, captured by his most iconic performances,” it continued. “As never before, audiences will experience an inside look into one of the most influential, trailblazing artists the world has ever known.”
Jaafar is set to take center stage — alongside fellow castmates Colman Domingo, Nia Long, Juliano Krue Valdi, and more — when Michael moonwalks its way into theaters on April 18, 2025.
Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.