Michael Jackson’s Nephew Jaafar to Star as Late Singer in Biopic
Jaafar Jackson will portray his uncle Michael Jackson in the upcoming Antoine Fuqua-directed biopic, Michael.
The film is being touted to explore all aspects of the pop icon’s life, “including his most iconic performances that led him to become the greatest entertainer of all time,” as the studio noted to Variety.
Given the biopic has the approval of the Michael Jackson estate, it’s unclear if the child sexual abuse allegations against the late musical icon — widely documented in 2019’s Leaving Neverland — will be addressed in Michael. In a previous statement announcing the film’s release, Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson, said: “Ever since Michael was little, as a member of the Jackson 5, he loved the magic of cinema.” As a family, we are honored to have our life story come alive on the big screen.”
This will be the first major film role for Jaafar, who is the second youngest song to Jackson 5 member and Michael’s brother, 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.
Producer Graham King said they conducted a worldwide casting search before choosing Jaafar.
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“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.”
The screenplay, written by John Logan, is set to provide “an in-depth portrayal of the complicated man who became the King of Pop,” according to a statement. It’s expected to highlight some of the singer’s biggest performances with “informed insight” into Jackson’s creative process. Logan has written screenplays for films such as Genius, Skyfall, The Aviator, and Hugo.