Jaafar Jackson has been cast as his late uncle, Michael Jackson, in an upcoming biopic documenting the singer’s life.
Jaafar, who is the son of Jackson’s brother and fellow Jackson 5 member Jermaine, was announced as part of the film’s cast earlier today (January 31). Antoine Fuqua, who is on board to direct the biopic – titled Michael – said he was “proud to announce [Jaafar] as Michael – the motion picture event that explores the journey of the man who became the King of Pop”.
A release date for Michael has not yet been announced, but Fuqua wrote that it is “coming soon.” The announcement post features Jaafar recreating Jackson’s distinctive choreography while wearing his trademark fedora hat. Jaafar has been singing since the age of 12, and released his first original single, ‘Got Me Singing’ in 2019.
Speaking of the role, which marks his first major acting credit, in his own social media post Jaafar said: “I’m humbled and honored to bring my Uncle Michael’s story to life. To all the fans all over the world, I’ll see you soon.” In a statement to Variety, Michael Jackson’s mother said Jaafar “embodies my son.” She continued: “It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers”.
I’m humbled and honored to bring my Uncle Michael’s story to life. To all the fans all over the world, I’ll see you soon.
Photo by Jourdynn Jackson pic.twitter.com/Xow9Mkakup
— Jaafar Jackson (@JaafarJackson) January 30, 2023
Alongside Fuqua, who has also directed The Equalizer, Training Day and Emancipation, the Jackson biopic also credits John Logan as a screenwriter and Graham King as a producer. In 2018, King produced Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Michael will be co-produced by the co-executors of Jackson’s estate, John Branca and John McClain.
According to Deadline, the biopic will document Jackson’s origins in The Jackson 5 and his meteoric rise to fame, as well as the sexual assault allegations levelled against him in the years leading up to his death in 2009. Reports of a film chronicling Jackson’s life emerged in November 2019, with the singer’s nephew TJ providing an update in mid-2022.