First Look At Jaafar Jackson As Michael In New Biopic

14 February 2024 | 1:24 pm | Mary Varvaris

“With Jaafar, every look, every note, every dance move is Michael. He embodies Michael in a way that no other actor could.”

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson (Source: Supplied)

Variety has shared the first photo of Michael Jackson’s nephew, Jaafar, playing the King of Pop in the upcoming biopic, Michael, landing in cinemas in April 2025.

Jaafar Jackson will depict the adult scenes of his uncle, while Juliano Krue Valdi will play young Michael. The new image was taken by photographer Kevin Mazur, who had a longstanding partnership with the singer, taking snaps of Jackson on his This Is It tour rehearsals.

The picture, which you can see below, shows Jaafar re-creating Michael Jackson’s iconic Man In The Mirror look from the 1992-93 Dangerous tour.

Movie producer Graham King said about Jaafar’s performance in the film in a statement, “With Jaafar, every look, every note, every dance move is Michael. He embodies Michael in a way that no other actor could.”

The Michael biopic was announced in January 2023 and will be directed by Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua. Jaafar was revealed to be depicting his uncle a month later.

“We have assembled an incredible team of artists for this project – hair and makeup, costumes, cinematography, choreography, lighting, everything – and some who knew and worked with Michael are reuniting for this film,” the director told Variety.

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“But most importantly, it’s Jaafar who embodies Michael. It goes beyond the physical resemblance. It’s Michael’s spirit that comes through in a magical way. You have to experience it to believe it.”

The cast for Michael has grown, with Oscar-nominated actor Colman Domingo playing father Joe Jackson, Nia Long as mother Katherine Jackson, Krue Valdi as young Michael, and Whiplash actor Miles Teller as lawyer John Branca.

Fuqua said about the upcoming project last year, “For me, there is no artist with the power, the charisma, and the sheer musical genius of Michael Jackson. I was influenced to make music videos by watching his work – the first Black artist to play in heavy rotation on MTV. His music and those images are part of my worldview, and the chance to tell his story on the screen alongside his music was irresistible.”

Michael is coming with the blessing of the Michael Jackson estate, with the production company Lionsgate having the rights to the performer’s discography.