Jaafar Jackson, one of Michael Jackson’s nephews, will play his uncle in an upcoming biopic about the troubled star. Director Antoine Fuqua — who previously directed iconic films like “Training Day” and “Tears of the Sun” — confirmed that Jackson will be taking on the title role in “Michael.”
Fuqua shared a post on Instagram of Jaafar working on his dance moves in the studio with the caption, “Proud to announce @jaafarjackson as Michael — the motion picture event that explores the journey of the man who became the King of Pop. Coming soon.”
And Jaafar posted the same photo on Twitter, writing, “I’m humbled and honored to bring my Uncle Michael’s story to life.”
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.
Photo by Jourdynn Jackson pic.twitter.com/Xow9Mkakup
— Jaafar Jackson (@JaafarJackson) January 30, 2023
Before you assume Jaafar Jackson simply got the role of Michael due to his last name, the producer says they actually conducted a worldwide search before landing on the 26-year-old son of Michael’s brother Jermaine Jackson, who was a member of the Jackson 5.
“I met Jaafar over two years ago and was blown away by the way he organically personifies the spirit and personality of Michael,” film producer Graham King told The Guardian. “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.”
This will not be Jackson’s first time in front of the camera. He appeared in the reality show “The Jacksons: Next Generation” on Lifetime, and he has appeared in several music videos. His “Got Me Singing” video has over 8 million views and illustrates his dancing ability as well as his showmanship:
The film has the approval of Michael Jackson’s estate, so it’s unclear how or whether film will address the accusations of child sex abuse during the star’s life and after his death in 2009 at the age of 50.
Meanwhile, the casting of Jaafar has the approval of the Jackson family.
“Jaafar embodies my son,” Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, said in a statement, Huffington Post reports. “It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers.”