Michael Jackson Movie Will Recreate His Performances and Delve Into His 'Very Complicated Life'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Michael,’ the upcoming Antoine Fuqua-directed biopic about Michael Jackson, unveiled a first look at Jaafar Jackson in the role

<p>FRANCIS Sylvain/AFP via Getty</p> Michael Jackson in 1996

FRANCIS Sylvain/AFP via Getty

Michael Jackson in 1996

Michael Jackson’s private life and public career are getting the big-screen treatment in Michael, due in theaters April 18, 2025.

While a trailer and further glimpses of lead star Jaafar Jackson (Michael’s nephew) are still to come, attendees at CinemaCon 2024 in Las Vegas got a first glimpse of the Antoine Fuqua-directed musical biopic on April 10 as part of distributor Lionsgate’s slate presentation.

Adam Fogelson, chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, called the King of Pop “simply a man,” but one “who lived a very complicated life.” The movie, he promised, will showcase “public performances on stage as well as his private life.”

Related: Jaafar Jackson Transforms Into Uncle Michael Jackson on Set of New Biopic: See the Uncanny Photos

Michael producer Graham King, who similarly helped bring Freddie Mercury’s story to the big screen in the award-winning hit Bohemian Rhapsody, joined Fogelson on the Caesars Palace stage. 

“When you consider Michael Jackson's extraordinary life, his career triumphs, personal challenges, his artistry, musical legacy, his story is certainly one that's worthy of a cinematic event presentation,” said King. “When you mention his name, everyone has an opinion… Generations of moviegoers will come together to experience an inside look into one of the most prolific artists that ever lived.”

Cramming the late musician’s life and career into a feature-length story was “daunting task to say the least,” continued King, adding that the film will be “long.” But thanks to the movie’s cast, all involved were able to honor Michael’s enduring legacy.

“Everyone said, ‘You’ll never find someone to play’” Michael himself, recalled King. “I’m here to say we found him.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Gabriel Olsen/Getty, Dave Hogan/Getty Michael Jackson's Nephew Jafaar Jackson and Michael Jackson
Gabriel Olsen/Getty, Dave Hogan/Getty Michael Jackson's Nephew Jafaar Jackson and Michael Jackson

Related: See the Michael Jackson Biopic Cast, Side by Side with the Real People

Jaafar, the son of Michael’s brother and fellow Jackson 5 member Jermaine, was the main focus of the trailer subsequently screened for the CinemaCon crowd. In it, the actor can be seen wearing his uncle’s iconic hat and costumes, executing his electric choreography on various stages and squaring off against Rustin Oscar nominee Colman Domingo, who plays Michael’s father and manager Joe.

Nia Long, as Michael’s mother Katherine, can be heard warmly encouraging a young Michael. “You have a very special light. So let your light shine unto the world,” she instructs him.

Michael also stars Juliano Krue Valdi, Laura Harrier, Kat Graham and more. Miles Teller plays John Branca, the lawyer and manager who is co-executor of the Michael Jackson Estate to this day.

Related: Colman Domingo Wants to Find Joe Jackson’s 'Humanity, Heart and Humor' in Michael Jackson Biopic (Exclusive)

The trailer includes only brief glimpses of Jaafar at first — singing “Man in the Mirror” onstage in front of weeping fans who mouth the song’s lyrics with him — before revealing him smiling in a limousine, lit by the lightbulb flashes of a crowding paparazzi. 

Michael will include “over 30 songs spanning his career,” according to King. On the heels of the success of Broadway‘s MJ: The Musical, the biopic will moonwalk into theaters April 18, 2025. 

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.