Michael Jackson's nephew Jaffar Jackson will reportedly play the King of Pop in an upcoming biopic titled "Michael." The much-hyped biopic will be directed by Antoine Fuqua for Lionsgate. The film will be produced by GK Films and also John Branca and John McClain, who are co-executors of Michael Jackson's estate, according to a Deadline report.
Fuqua recently posted a confirmation on Instagram. Jaafar is the son of Jermaine Jackson, Michael's brother and a member of The Jackson 5. The 26-year-old Jaffar has been singing and dancing since he was 12 years old, following in the legendary family's footsteps. Michael Jackson died in 2009 at age 50, due to a cocktail of sedatives leading to a cardiac arrest.
All In the Family
Jaafar tweeted his excitement for getting the role along with a black and white image of himself costumed as his well-known late uncle. "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," Jaffar wrote.
Jaafar appeared in the photo sporting the trademark Michael Jackson ensemble of striped slacks, a white T-shirt, a jacket, a hat, and shoes while striking his distinctive pose.
Faqua also confirmed Jaffar's selection for the role of Michael Jackson. "It's incredibly exciting to watch Jaafar bring Michael to life," Fuqua said in a statement to Variety. "There was such a spiritual connection when I first met Jaafar, who has a natural ability to emulate Michael and such a great chemistry with the camera."
Jaafar was chosen for the role following a global casting search. According to King, who also directed the 2018 film "Bohemian Rhapsody" with Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, "It was clear that he is the only one to take on this role."
King met Jaafar over two years ago and was "blown away by the way he organically personifies the spirit and personality of Michael," King told Variety. "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."
Jackson on Screen
Faqua was selected as the film's director earlier this month. The biopic has also been approved by the deceased pop star's estate. The 56-year-old director is best known for helming "The Equalizer" movie series and "Training Day".
"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," Faqua said in a statement.
"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 â 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," Fuqua raved.
According to a Deadline article from last February, Lionsgate had acquired the rights to distribute the movie, which was scripted by John Logan, the author of "Gladiator". The biography, according to the studio, will explore all aspects of the late icon's life."
The movie will be "an in-depth portrait of a difficult guy who became the King of Pop," according to a statement from Lionsgate. "It will bring to life Jackson's most iconic performances as it gives an informed insight into the entertainer's artistic process and personal life."
"Ever since Michael was little, as a member of The Jackson 5, he loved the magic of cinema,' she said. 'As a family, we are honored to have our life story come alive on the big screen."
Jackson has sold over 400 million records globally. He received a Golden Globe, 15 Grammy Awards, and two inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The singer of "Thriller" has also been the center of controversy for years, and lately even more so.