Michael Jackson biopic starring late singer’s nephew sets 2025 release

Michael Jackson biopic starring late singer’s nephew sets 2025 release

Michael, a biopic of the late music icon Michael Jackson, has set a release date of 18 April 2025.

The film will be directed by Training Day and The Equalizer helmer Antoine Fuqua and will star Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson in the lead role as the King of Pop.

Production is set to begin on 22 January this year.

The movie is taken from a script by John Logan, who also wrote or co-wrote Ridley Scott's Gladiator, Martin Scorsese's The Aviator and Sam Mendes' James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly last year, Fuqua said his approach to the film would be: “Just to tell the facts as we know it, about the artist, about the man, about the human being. You know, the good, bad, and the ugly.”

Jackson, who died from cardiac arrest caused by a drug overdose in 2009, saw his reputation tarnished by a string of child sexual abuse allegations during the 1990s. He was acquitted of sexual molestation in a widely-publicised trial in 2005.

Michael Jackson performing during his HIStory World Tour (Reuters)
Michael Jackson performing during his HIStory World Tour (Reuters)

Fuqua added that 27-year-old Jaafar Jackson, who is the son of Michael’s brother and Jackson 5 bandmate Jermaine Jackson, was the stand-out choice to play his uncle.

“It’s uncanny how much he’s like Michael,” Fuqua said. “Sounds like him, dances like him, sings. It’s really uncanny. Graham King, who is a fantastic producer, found him, and introduced him to me, and I was blown away.”

King previously produced the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and won an Oscar for Scorsese’s The Departed.

Earlier this week, a trailer was released for the music documentary The Greatest Night in Pop, which features footage of Jackson alongside some of the biggest artists of the 1980s, including Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Cyndi Lauper, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan.

The film, from director Bao Nguyen, delves into the making of the 1985 charity single, “We Are the World”.

It features never-before-seen footage, along with new details about the song’s creation decades after its release.

“The greatest artists of a generation came together to save some lives,” Lionel Richie says in the trailer, “but we only had one night to get this right.”

Produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian, “We Are the World” went on to raise more than $63m. The song sold 20 million copies, and won four Grammy Awards and an American Music Award.

The documentary will make its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on 19 January, and will be available to stream on Netflix on 29 January.