Michael Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson will make his acting debut as the King of Pop in the Antoine Fuqua-directed biopic Michael. Fuqua confirmed the news today (Jan. 30) via Instagram.
The director posted a black-and-white photo of the 26-year-old posing in character as his late uncle with the caption: “Proud to announce Jaafar Jackson as Michael — the motion picture event that explores the journey of the man who became the King of Pop. Coming soon.”
Jaafar is the son of Michael’s brother Jermaine Jackson and has been performing since age 12. He’s showcased himself singing songs from Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye and in 2019, he released his debut single, “Got Me Singing.”
Jaafar was honored when he discovered that he’d portray the iconic pop star in the future Lionsgate film.
“I’m humbled and honored to bring my uncle Michael’s story to life,” he wrote on Twitter as a caption with the same picture Fuqua posted. “To all the fans all over the world, I’ll see you soon.”
Along with the announcement of Jaafar’s casting, Lionsgate also announced Michael will be produced by Oscar winner Graham King. “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.”
The Associated Press reported that the film, scripted by Gladiator and The Aviator screenwriter John Logan, is being produced with the cooperation of the singer’s estate and is to begin production this year.
“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.”