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Everything We Know About the Upcoming Michael Jackson Biopic: Cast, Release Date

Michael Jackson
VARIOUS, VARIOUS - JUNE 25: Michael Jackson performs in concert circa 1986. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Michael Jackson’s long-awaited biopic is coming to theaters faster than you can say “Beat It.”

The upcoming film, Michael, has made headlines since casting Jaafar Jackson, the real-life nephew of the late musician and son of Jermaine Jackson, as Michael.

Director Antoine Fuqua announced the exciting casting decision via Instagram in January 2023, along with a picture of Jaafar dressed in his uncle’s signature look. The caption reads, “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.”

Juliano Krue Valdi was chosen to play the younger version of Michael in the upcoming bio film.

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Graham King, known for his work on rock band Queen‘s biopic Bohemian Rhapsody in 2018, is set to produce. Along with King, John Branca and John McCain, who are coexecutors of the Jackson estate, will also be producing the project. Given their involvement, it’s unclear how the film will portray the singer’s ultimate downfall.

“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. 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.”

Keep scrolling for everything we know about the upcoming biopic:

Who’s in the cast?

Jaafar will play the older version of Michael, while Valdi stars as the younger version of the King of Pop.

As for the rest of the Jackson 5, Jermaine will be played by Kamal R. Henderson in the film’s later years, with Jayden Harville playing his younger counterpart. Tre Horton and Jaylen Lyndon Hunter share the role of Marlon Jackson, with Rhyan Hill and Judah Edwards starring as Tito Jackson. Joseph David-Jones and Nathaniel Logan McIntyre play the elder and younger versions of Jackie Jackson, respectively.

The cast also includes Oscar nominee Colman Domingo as Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, Nia Long as mother Michael’s, Katherine Jackson, and Miles Teller as lawyer John Branca.

Larenz Tate will portray Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, with Kat Graham as Diana Ross, Jessica Sula as Michael’s older sister La Toya Jackson, Liv Symone as Gladys Knight, Kendrick Sampson as Quincy Jones, KeiLyn Durrel Jones as Bill Bray and Kevin Shinick as Dick Clark.

In an interview with Variety, Domingo spoke about his role as the Jackson patriarch.

“Not only am I fortunate to have a rich, complex, and flawed character to portray in Joe Jackson,but I also have a front-row seat for Jaafar’s incredible transformation,” Domingo said.

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When does it come out?

Michael is currently slated for an April 18, 2025 premiere date.

What’s it about?

According to the film’s official synopsis, “Michael will bring audiences a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became the King of Pop.”

The project will also be facing “the pedophile accusations that dogged his later years,” per Deadline.

Jackson 5
Jackson Five pose for a studio portrait in January 1971 in Los Angeles, California. Clockwise from bottom left: Michael Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Marlon Jackson. (Photo by Michael Ochs rchives/Getty Images) Michael Ochs rchives/Getty Images

What has the Jackson family said of the biopic?

Along with having Jackson’s estate executors serve as producers on the film, the family has already given their stamp of approval of the biopic, with Katherine declaring that Jaafar “embodies” her son.

“It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers,” Katherine told The Hollywood Reporter.

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