Michael Jackson Biopic Star Jaafar Jackson Channels King of Pop in New Movie Photo

As the Michael Jackson biopic Michael heads into production, the film's star, the singer's nephew Jaafar Jackson, shared a new pic of himself in character.

By Corinne Heller Jan 20, 2024 11:34 PMTags
Watch: Michael Jackson's Nephew Jaafar Jackson to Play King of Pop

Michael Jackson's nephew Jaafar Jackson is getting ready to rock your world.

Michael, a biopic about the late King of Pop, is scheduled to begin principal photography Jan. 22, Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International announced earlier this month. Jaafar, son of Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson and ex-wife Alejandra Loaiza, will play his famous uncle in the biopic Michael. Three days before the movie is set to begin filming, the 27-year-old actor shared a new photo of himself in character.

"The Journey Starts Monday," Jaafar, who is seen sporting a fedora and dancing on his toes like Michael often did, wrote on Instagram Jan. 19. "#Michaelmovie."

The late music icon's son Prince Jackson, 26, the eldest of three children, liked the photo.

A first look at Michael was released almost exactly one year ago, in late January 2023, accompanying an announcement that Jaafar would be playing his uncle in the film. In a photo shared at the time by the actor and director Antoine Fuqua, Jaafar is shown wearing an almost identical outfit to the one seen recently and showcasing another one of the singer's signature dance moves in front of a mirror.

Michael Jackson's Kids Paris, Prince & Blanket Jackson Over the Years

Michael began his career as a child with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5 and went on to become a music icon and one of the most famous people in the world. He died at age 50 in 2009.

On Jan. 18, it was announced that Juliano Krue Valdi, 9, would play a young Michael in the biopic. "This opportunity is really important to me because Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, and he is very special in my heart," the child star said in a statement to E! News. "I've been dancing to his songs for five years now. He makes me feel really special and makes me feel good about myself. I love the energy of Michael Jackson."

In an earlier statement to E! News, Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International said Michael "will bring audiences a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became the King of Pop." They added, "The film 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 iconic performances. As never before, audiences will experience an inside look into one of the most influential, trailblazing artists the world has ever known."

Araya Diaz/Getty Images for REELZ

The distributors have not specified whether the biopic would incorporate highly publicized past controversies that had affect Michael, namely his 2005 trial on child sex abuse charges—of which he was acquitted—and additional abuse allegations against the singer that were featured in the 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland— which his family had denounced while denying the accusations.

Michael marks the acting debut of Jaafar, a singer like his dad, Michael, his other uncles and other members of their family, including the late pop star's sister, Janet Jackson.

"I'm humbled and honored to bring my Uncle Michael's story to life," Jaafar wrote on Instagram last January. "To all the fans all over the world, I'll see you soon."

Michael is set for release April 18, 2025.

Look back at the King of Pop's life in pictures:

Jackson 5 Juggernaut

Little Michael's huge voice leads the funky family band (Tito, Marlon, Jackie and Jermaine) during a 1969 TV performance. "Want You Back" wasn't just one of their biggest hits, now it's also how we all feel about Michael.

Material Girl & Magnificent Michael

The pop icons brought a jolt of electricity and gallons of glam to the 1991 Oscars afterparty at Spago.

Superstar Siblings

Michael and sister Janet bask in the Grammy glow backstage at awards show in 1993. Over the years, Michael won a total of 13 Grammys, while Janet earned 5.

World Icon

Giving his all onstage was a given for the charismatic star, seen here rocking the World Music Awards in 2006 at Earls Court in London.

The Comeback

In March 2009, the singer announced he was launching a massive concert undertaking: a two-month residency at London's O2 Arena. But the triumphant announcement led to lawsuits about whether this conflicted with a planned Jackson Family reunion tour. In the end, it was not to be.

Family Affair

Seen here with his brothers in 1978, Michael would step out on his own the following year with his Off the Wall album.

Famous Faces

The pop star and the young Blue Lagoon star stepped out on the town in the 1980s.

Madonna and Child-Man

Seen here at an afterparty for the 1991 Academy Awards, these two powerful pop stars were at the height of their fame.

A Match Made in Music Heaven

Two iconic families united when the King of Pop wedded the daughter of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Lisa Marie Presley—and sealed the union with a very public kiss at the 1994 MTV Video Music awards. Alas, the marriage didn't take.

Lifelong Friends

Two icons, one friendship: This megafamous pair understood the world of celebrity in ways most people could not. Elizabeth Taylor was "devastated" by his death.

Married Again

Jackson surprised many when he wed Debbie Rowe, a woman who had worked in his dermatologist's office. The couple had two children together before divorcing in 1999.

A Father

When the megastar stepped out with his children, he was sure to keep them covered up.

On Stage

At the height of his fame, Jackson was one of the most dynamic performers the world has ever seen.

Mac and Mike

Famously friends with Macaulay Culkin when the tyke was starring in the Home Alone films, Jackson and his pal were still in contact in 2001 at Madison Square Garden.

Times Square Tumult

Looking to reassert his position at the top of the pop heap, Jackson promoted his Invincible album in New York City in 2001.

The Tops of the Pop World

Jackson and Britney Spears met up at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2002.

Lords of the Dance

Jackson teamed with fellow song and dance legend James Brown at the BET Awards in 2003.

Father and Son

Seen here with his dad Joe, Michael appeared at a Santa Barbara courthouse in 2005 during his trial on child-molestation charges.

Final Rehearsal

Two days before his untimely death in 2009, the singer worked on his arena moves at Staples Center in L.A. in preparation for his planned shows in London to kick off his tour.

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