The Michael Jackson biopic, originally announced in 2019 and revealed as titled ‘Michael', has finally cast a lead actor to play the late 'King of Pop'. Jaafar Jackson, the nephew of Michael Jackson, has been confirmed to be playing his uncle in the biopic, which currently does not have a release date. The film is being directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer series), and is produced by Graham King, who previously helmed Freddie Mercury's biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.
The announcement of the lead casting was made by Lionsgate, with producer Graham King saying "I met Jaafar over two years ago and was blown away by the way he organically personifies the spirit and personality of Michael,” as per a report by SlashFilm. "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,” continued King, who produced 2018's critical and commercial success Bohemian Rhapsody.
The announcement was confirmed by Jaafar Jackson himself in a tweet, which also features an image of the actor in costume. Jaafar is the 26-year-old son of Jermaine Jackson, the elder brother of Michael Jackson, and his former bandmate on The Jackson 5, the singing group comprising members of the Jackson family.
The film will be directed by Antoine Fuqua, and is reportedly being made with the approval of Michael Jackson's estate. This does mean that the film will likely be able to use the late singer's original music and footage as needed, but as suggested by the Slashfilm report, this could mean that many of the controversies surrounding Jackson and his career could be washed over or underplayed. As of now, ‘Michael' does not have a confirmed release date, but is expected to start filming this year.
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