Michael Jackson's Nephew to Play King of Pop in Upcoming Biopic
Michael Jackson's nephew Jaafar Jackson will play his uncle in the upcoming film about the King of Pop's life. Director Antoine Fuqua confirmed the news on Instagram. Jaffar, 26, is the son of Jackson's older brother Jermaine Jackson and Jermaine's second wife, Alejandra Genevieve Oaziaza.
"Proud to announce [Jaafar] as Michael – the motion picture event that explores the journey of the man who became the King of Pop. Coming soon," Fuqua shared on Instagram Monday. He included a black and white photo of Jaafar striking a pose similar to his uncle, taken by Jaafar's older brother Journdyn Jackson.
"I'm humbled and honored to bring my Uncle Michael's story to life. To all the fans all over the world, I'll see you soon," Jaafar wrote on his own Instagram page. Jaafar's cousin, TJ Jackson, celebrated the news. "I'm so proud of you Jaafar. Words can't express... you got it.....You are truly the only one who can do it right," TJ, the son of Tito Jackson, wrote.
The Jackson biopic, tentatively titled Michael, will be directed by Fuqua with a script by John Logan for Lionsgate. Graham King, who produced Bohemian Rhapsody, is producing, reports Deadline. John Branca and John McClain, the co-executors of Jackson's estate, are also involved as producers. Logan is a three-time Oscar nominee for his work on Hugo, The Aviator, and Gladiator. Fuqua's credits include Training Day, Emancipation, Southpaw, The Equalizer, The Equalizer 2, and the 2016 Magnificent Seven remake. He is now finishing up work on The Equalizer 3 with Denzel Washington.
Michael is expected to tread carefully, as the filmmakers try to strike a balance between pleasing fans and not ignoring the complicated aspects of Jackson's personal life. Sources told Deadline the movie might start later in Jackson's life, then flashback to his early years to look at his talent and work ethic.
"The first films of my career were music videos, and I still feel that combining film and music are a deep part of who I am," Fuqua told Deadline earlier this month. "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 will be Jaafar's first acting credit. In 2019, he released his single "Got Me Singing." The accompanying music video has over 8.3 million views on YouTube and shows off his dancing skills.