Jaafar Jackson is officially set to portray his late uncle Michael Jackson in Lionsgate’s upcoming Antoine Fuqua-directed biopic Michael.
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Expected to depict the complicated legacy of the man who became known as the King of Pop, as stated by the studio, Michael will explore all aspects of artist’s life, “including his most iconic performances that led him to become the greatest entertainer of all time.”
Michael will be the first major film for Jaafar, the second-youngest son to songwriter, producer, Jackson 5 member, and brother to Michael —Jermaine Jackson.
“Jaafar embodies my son. It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers,” said the singer’s mother Katherine Jackson.
And after holding a worldwide casting search before casting the icon’s nephew, Producer Graham King, whose credits include Bohemian Rhapsody, couldn’t agree more.
“I met Jaafar over two years ago and was blown away by the way he organically personifies the spirit and personality of Michael,” said King. “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.”
Also sharing his thoughts on Jafaar, the film’s director Antoine said, “It’s incredibly exciting to watch Jaafar bring Michael to life.” Adding, “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.”
Antoine also took to social media to share the exciting news. “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," he captioned the IG post, that included a black and white image of Jaafar practicing one of his uncle’s signature moves.
With the film being made with the cooperation of the Michael Jackson estate, it has led to some questions about if certain aspects of Michael’s notoriety and fame will be influenced, or even omitted.
But as Deadline pointed out quite eloquently, ”things will have to be explored for the film to have dramatic edge and enough truthfulness to stand up to scrutiny while not turning off fans of Jackson’s songs and musical legacy.”
Production on the biopic is set to begin later this year.
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