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Jaafar Jackson: Jaafar Jackson, nephew of Michael Jackson, is a copy of the King of Pop in the first image of the singer's “biopic” | People

A little over a year ago, in January 2023, the name of the actor who would play the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, in the artist's next biopic, simply titled “Michael”, was revealed. The Chosen One: Jaafar Jackson, his nephew. “It is a great honor to bring my Uncle Michael’s story to life. To all your followers around the world, see you soon,” the 27-year-old young man wrote after the announcement on his newly launched Instagram account, where he already has more than 250,000 followers (as of 2019). so far he has only released two releases) and where he has already been characterized as an interpreter of hits such as Thriller and Billie Jean.

A year later, the first image from the film was unveiled, showing Jaafar Jackson appearing on stage, recreating one of his uncle's most iconic looks from the 1992 Dangerous Tour. “Image by renowned photographer Kevin Mazur, who “documented Michael's finale.” “I photographed Jaafar in rehearsal and am now the first to photograph Jaafar in the role of Michael,” Antoine Fuqua, the film's director, wrote on his Instagram account. Mazur followed Jackson's career and was also responsible for recording the final rehearsals for “This Is It,” which would ultimately become a monumental film-documentary-concert (all in one) of the artist, released in 2009 died. To this day it is one of the most successful documentaries of all time.

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Jaafar Jackson, a singer and dancer but not an actor, took the role in “Michael” after an audition that lasted more than two years. “I met Jaafar more than two years ago and was impressed by the way he represents Michael's spirit and personality,” said Graham King, co-producer of the film, as well as Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), in a statement . the film that tells the life of Freddie Mercury, the singer of Queen and for which Rami Malek won the Oscar for Best Actor. “It was something so powerful that even after searching the entire world, it was clear that he was the only person capable of taking on this role. “I'm thrilled that he has joined the project to portray his uncle and I can't wait for the world to see him on the big screen as Michael Jackson,” King added. Michael Jackson's mother and Jaafar's grandmother, Katherine Jackson, She was asked to have the final say in casting and gave her consent for her grandson to finally play her son. “Jaafar represents my son. “It is wonderful to see him continue the Jackson legacy of artists and performers,” he said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

Michael Jackson at Wembley Stadium during the “Dangerous Tour”, an image that his nephew now recreates in his “biopic”. Michael Jackson at Wembley Stadium during the “Dangerous Tour”, an image that his nephew now recreates in his “biopic”. Pete Still (Redferns)

Michael is produced alongside King by the two administrators of Michael Jackson's estate, attorney John Branca and music industry executive and friend of the artist, John McClain. The director is the aforementioned Antoine Fuqua, responsible for films such as Training Day (2001), Tears of the Sun (2003) and the saga of The Protector. The film “will provide audiences with a fascinating and honest portrait of the brilliant but complicated man who became the King of Pop,” the production company said. “It presents his triumphs and tragedies on an epic cinematic scale, from his human side and personal struggles to his undeniable creative genius, exemplified by his most famous performances.” Like never before, audiences will gain insight into one of the most influential and “The most groundbreaking artist the world has ever known.” The film, which will be released in theaters in the US next April, also stars Oscar nominee Colman Domingo as Joe Jackson, the artist's father, Nia Long as Katherine Jackson and Miles Teller as John Branca.

Produced almost entirely in a family style – Michael Jackson's estate benefits his heirs, including his three children – the film certainly promises the light show that the artist put on throughout his prolific career. career, although in all likelihood he doesn't address the shadows that still hang over the pop star. The specter of child abuse allegations hung over the icon for decades before she died of cardiac arrest. In 2005, Jackson was found not guilty of sexually abusing a child under 13, a crime for which he had been investigated more than a decade earlier, in 1993, in a case that was resolved through an out-of-court settlement Agreement was resolved. In August 2023, an appeals court panel concluded that lawsuits filed by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, alleged victims of the singer, should not have been dismissed by lower courts and reopened the case. Whether or not this topic is addressed in the film will remain a mystery until its release.

Be that as it may, the film industry confirms that it is currently experiencing a honeymoon with the music industry. Among the biggest box office hits of recent years have been films that more or less faithfully and with more or less good results portray the lives of music icons of the last century, such as the already mentioned biographical film about Elvis, Bohemian Rapsody Film, directed by Baz Luhrmann, who won the Golden Globe for his protagonist Austin Butler, or, with worse box office and critical results, Rocketman, about the life of Elton John. The film Back to Black about Amy Winehouse will also be released this year. Prepare popcorn and Spotify playlists.