The Michael Jackson Biopic Has Found Its Star, And He's Related To The Late Singer

The Michael Jackson biopic being produced by Bohemian Rhapsody’s Graham King has been steaming ahead into production. With the recent hiring of director Antoine Fuqua, a huge step had been taken towards getting this long developing project off the ground. 

While it's not quite a 2023 new movie releases contender, this year has seen the project getting even closer to camera ready. The latest development is potentially the most crucial, as this chronicle of moments in Jackson’s career has found its star, and he’s related to the late singer. 

Nephew Jaafar Jackson has been announced as playing the role of his uncle in the still untitled biopic. Lionsgate made the announcement today, through a press release containing the news. This choice has already nabbed some high praise from Antoine Fuqua and Graham King, but the most notable approval comes from Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, who made the following statement: 

Jaafar embodies my son. It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers.

According to his bio on IMDb, 26 year-old Jaafar Jackson is the second youngest son of Jermaine Jackson, brother of Michael and fellow member of the Jackson 5. Through media appearances and music videos for his own projects, young Jaafar has been making waves in the family business of entertaining. 

Responding to his casting in the new Michael Jackson biopic, Jaafar posted an official photo from behind the scenes with a message of gratitude. Shown striking one of his uncle's signature poses, you can see that image, and Jackson's message, as follows:

This sort of news is encouraging, especially in the wake of Universal’s cancellation of the Madonna biopic, which was potentially set to start Ozark’s Julia Garner. As the 2023 Oscar nominations may hold some golden wins for Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, it only seems fitting that the King of Pop could be the next big musical biography to come after last year’s tribute to the King of Rock n’ Roll. Although this production has an advantage that could prevent another Austin Butler accent scenario from ever having to enter the picture. 

Casting Jaafar Jackson as his own uncle is naturally a narrative that sounds like a good start for the untitled Michael Jackson biopic. The resemblance is there in more ways than one, and people who’ve been following the young talent would know that already. You can see for yourself why this is such a good pick, when you watch the video for Jaafar's song "Got Me Singing," shown below:

It's still early days for this picture's development, and as we've seen above anything could happen before cameras start rolling. That being said, the enthusiasm and the family connections to this new Michael Jackson movie are already good signs that things are going well, with nowhere to go but up! 

With a screenplay from They/Them writer-director John Logan, the untitled Michael Jackson biopic is stated to start principal photography in 2023. There's currently no set date specified for production start or release, though it could be assumed that 2024 will be the year that Jaafar Jackson's performance as his uncle Michael will be revealed to the world. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.