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Jaafar Jackson introduced as Michael Jackson in first-look photo from biopic ‘Michael’

Lionsgate and Universal Pictures are sharing a first-look photo for the Michael Jackson biopic ‘Michael,’ featuring Jackson’s nephew, Jaafar Jackson, as the late pop star.  A post on X read: “Your first look at #MichaelMovie. Starring Jaafar Jackson – in theaters April 2025. Photograph by the renowned photographer Kevin Mazur, who documented Michael’s final rehearsal, and is now the first to photograph Jaafar in character as Michael.”

Michael is directed by Antoine Fuqua and is produced by Branca, John McClain and the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate. The photo shared on social media depicts Michael Jackson (Jaafar Jackson) performing “Man in the Mirror” on his Dangerous tour, which ran from 1992 to 1993. Photographer Kevin Mazur, who documented Michael Jackson’s final rehearsal, shot the image. Mazur said in a statement: “When I arrived on my first day on the set of this movie, I was so excited — it was like the first time I went on tour to shoot Michael Jackson. When I walked onto the set, I felt like I’d gone back in time and I was walking into the stadium to shoot the tour. Seeing Jaafar perform, I thought, ‘Wow, it is Michael.’ The way he looks and acts, his mannerisms, everything — he’s Michael Jackson. For anyone who didn’t have the chance to see Michael perform live during his lifetime — this is how it was.”

Michael will give “a riveting and honest portrayal” of the life and career of Michael Jackson, who died at age 50 in 2009. Producer Graham King added: “With Jaafar, every look, every note, every dance move is Michael. He embodies Michael in a way that no other actor could.” The cast also includes Colman Domingo as Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, Nia Long as Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and Miles Teller as John Branca, the attorney who shepherded Michael’s career.

Michael opens in theaters April 18, 2025.

Editorial credit: Samin Anam / Shutterstock.com

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