The late Michael Jackson is set to be played by his nephew, Jaafar Jackson, in an upcoming biopic directed by Antoine Fuqua.
This will be the first movie based on Michael’s life. It is set to hit the theaters and is being released through Lionsgate.
According to Deadline, the movie is going to address Michael’s controversial life.
“As we’ve heard the film will not shy away from the controversies of Jackson’s life,” the outlet reports.
The King of Pop faced pedophile accusations during and after his life with the 2019 documentary, Leaving Neverland.
Michael died in 2009 at age 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest caused by a propofol and benzodiazepine overdose.
The Training Day director confirmed the news on his Instagram page, writing, “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.”
Who is Jafar Jackson?
Jaafar Jackson is the 26-year-old son of Michael’s brother Jermaine Jackson and Alejandra Genevieve Oaziaza.
According to Deadline, Jaafar has been singing and dancing since the age of 12.
He has showcased his talent by covering songs by artists such as Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye.
In 2019, Jaafar released his first single, Got Me Singing, along with a music video and recently appeared in a music video by his uncle Tito Jackson.
The biopic of Jaafar’s late uncle will serve as his acting debut, but he has appeared in Jackson-related documentaries such as The Jacksons: Next Generation in 2015.
The Jackson matriarch, Katherine Jackson, gave her grandchild her approval and said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, “Jaafar embodies my son.”
Graham King, one of the producers of the movie, has high praise for Jaafar and said he was “blown away” by how Michael’s nephew captured the pop star’s personality and spirit.
The upcoming Michael Jackson biopic is working with his estate
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the biopic is being produced in conjunction with his estate, which may leave some observers questioning how the movie would handle the controversies surrounding Michael’s life.
The 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland brought Michael’s child molestation allegations back into the spotlight.
The late King of Pop was acquitted at his 2005 child molestation trial, and his estate defended him, summing up the documentary and the press surrounding it as tabloid character assassination.
The estate of Michael Jackson sued HBO for $100 million for producing and distributing Leaving Neverland, which focuses on Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two men who allege that Michael sexually assaulted them when they were minors.