Michael Jackson's Nephew Cast to Play the King of Pop in Biopic
The Michael Jackson biopic that was first announced to be in development in 2019 finally has a director and star, and the leading actor is none other than Jackson's nephew, Jaafar Jackson.
Jaafar is the 26-year-old son of Jackson's brother, Jermaine Jackson, who was also a member of the Jackson 5, and Jaafar's been involved with the arts ever since he was a kid. His vocal and dance talents can be seen on full display in the music video for his song "Got Me Singing."
The casting news was reported by Deadline, with the publication announcing just last week that Antoine Fuqua, who directed Training Day, the 2016 The Magnificent Seven remake, Southpaw, and more, will helm the biopic, titled Michael.
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Fuqua announced Jaafar's casting on his Instagram, sharing a snap of the 26-year-old practicing an iconic Jackson dance move in the studio.
He captioned it, "Proud to announce @jaafarjackson as Michael — the motion picture event that explores the journey of the man who became the King of Pop. Coming soon."
John Logan, who wrote Aviator, Skyfall, and many other popular films, penned the script.
Michael will be produced by Graham King, who worked on the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which won Rami Malek an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for playing the Queen singer.
The co-executors of Jackson’s estate, John Branca and John McClain, will also produce the film, granting Michael the right to use Jackson's expansive musical catalog.
Related: Remember When Sheryl Crow Was a Backup Singer for Michael Jackson?
According to Deadline, the movie will touch on various controversies throughout Jackson's life, including the child sexual abuse accusations and his death.
Production is expected to start later this year as Fuqua finishes production on The Equalizer 3. Robert Richardson, the cinematographer for The Equalizer 3 and Fuqua's 2022 film Emancipation, is expected to join the director on Michael.
No other casting announcements have been made yet.