Antoine Fuqua has moonwalked into the director’s chair for a new Michael Jackson biopic, which will star Jackson’s 26-year-old nephew, Jaafar Jackson.
As previously reported, the script for Michael comes from John Logan, the screenwriter behind several good movies (Gladiator, The Aviator) and a few duds (Star Trek: Nemesis). According to Deadline, the film will “deal squarely with the pedophile accusations that dogged his later years up to his death in 2009 at age 50, from cardiac arrest caused by a cocktail of sedatives.” However, Michael comes with the blessing of the Jackson estate and will be produced by Graham King, best known for the toothless Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, so maybe don’t expect anything too damaging to the Jackson brand.
Jaafar Jackson is the son of Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s older brother and former Jackson 5 member. Jaafar is a singer and dancer in his own right, having released a song called “Got Me Signing” in 2019.
“Jaafar embodies my son. It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers,” said Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael Jackson, in a statement.
Fuqua is currently wrapping The Equalizer 3 with Denzel Washington, and is expected to begin production on Michael shortly afterwards. He recently directed Will Smith in Emancipation. As for Logan, last year he helmed the queer conversion camp slasher film, They/Them.
Michael Jackson died in 2009, but new details about his life continue to emerge. In 2022, we got confirmation that he contributed music to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and that he wanted to star in an adaptation of The Sandman, much to Neil Gaiman’s chagrin. Over the summer, three Jackson songs were pulled from streaming services over a debate about fake vocals.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with news of Jaafar Jackson’s casting.