By AP and published by CTV News
New York – Michael Jackson’s 26-year-old nephew, Jaafar Jackson, will play the King of Pop in the planned biopic “Michael” to be directed by Antoine Fuqua.
Lionsgate announced Jackson’s casting on Monday (Jan. 30) for the film being produced by Oscar-winning “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King. Jackson is the second-youngest son of Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s brother. He’s put out music of his own; in 2019, he released his debut single, “Got Me Singing.” “Michael” will be Jackson’s acting debut.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
On Instagram, Fuqua shared a black-and-white photograph of Jackson in character. Fuqua added in a statement that Jackson “has a natural ability to emulate Michael and such a great chemistry with the camera.”
On Twitter, Jackson said he’s “humbled and honoured to bring my Uncle Michael’s story to life.”
“Michael” will be an authorised portrait of the pop star, who died in 2009. The film, scripted by “Gladiator” and “The Aviator” screenwriter John Logan, is being produced with the cooperation of the singer’s estate.
“Jaafar embodies my son,” Katherine Jackson said in a statement. “It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers.”
“Michael” is to begin shooting this year.
Top: Jaafar Jackson appears during the ‘Living with The Jacksons’ panel at the Reelz Channel 2014 Summer TCA in Beverly Hills, Calif., on July 12, 2014, left, and Michael Jackson appears at the American Cinema Award gala in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 9, 1987. File photo: AP Photo and published by CTV News
Insert: US pop star Michael Jackson performs during his “HIStory World Tour” concert in Vienna, on July 2, 1997. File photo: Reuters/Leonhard Foeger and published by CNA
Front Page: A biopic about Michael Jackson is in the works from Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King and Gladiator screenwriter John Logan. File photo: AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy and published by CNA