Michael Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson will play him in a new biopic.
The 26-year-old actor is “humbled and honoured” to have been chosen to portray his uncle - who died in 2009 from acute propofol intoxication aged 50 - in an Antoine Fuqua-helmed movie telling the life story of the King of Pop, which will be simply titled ‘Michael’.
Jaafar - who is the son of the ‘Bad’ hitmaker’s brother Jermaine, 68 - said: “I’m humbled and honoured to bring my Uncle Michael’s story to life. To all the fans all over the world, I’ll see you soon.”
The decision was welcomed by the matriarch of the Jackson clan, Katherine Jackson, who believes her grandson “embodies” the spirit of Michael.
Jaafar’s 92-year-old grandmother said: “Jaafar embodies my son. It’s so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers."
The film’s producer Graham King - who also worked on the movie version of the Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s biography ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ - believes the star is ‘“the only person” to do the part after an international hunt.
He said: “I met Jaafar over two years ago and was blown away by the way he organically personifies the spirit and personality of Michael. It was something so powerful that even after conducting a worldwide search, it was clear that he is the only person to take on this role.”
Graham is working with the ex Jackson 5-star’s estate co-executors John Branca and John McCain along with John Logan - who wrote ‘Gladiator’, ‘The Aviator’ and the 007 flicks ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Spectre’ - who is penning the script.
Antoine has described the movie as “explores the journey of the man who became the King of Pop” while Lionsgate - the studio helping them bring it to life - added the flick will contain “his most iconic performances that led him to become the greatest entertainer of all time”.