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Michael Jackson's Nephew Jaafar Jackson Looks Just Like the King of Pop in First Photo From Biopic

The film is due out next year.

Jaafar Jackson
Source: MEGA

Jaafar Jackson has received early praise for his performance.

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The first photo from the upcoming Michael Jackson biopic has been released. The film is set to hit theaters sometime next year.

The pop icon's nephew Jaafar Jackson will play the late star in Michael. The first image of the actor dressed up as his uncle was shared by production company Lionsgate in an Instagram post on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

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Jaafar Jackson
Source: MEGA

The pop star will be played by his nephew Jaafar Jackson in the film due out next year.

"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," the caption says.

The photographer said Jaafar has managed to recreated his uncle's personality and mannerisms.

"When I arrived for 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," Mazur said in a statement obtained by Deadline.

"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."

Director Antoine Fuqua feels the same way about Jaafar.

"It goes beyond the physical resemblance. It’s Michael’s spirit that comes through in a magical way," he said. "You have to experience it to believe it."

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Jaafar is the son of Jermaine Jackson, who played bass in the Jackson 5. The 27-year-old appeared in the reality show The Jacksons: Next Generation, but the upcoming biopic will be his film debut.

There was lots of excitement for the project in the comment section below the Instagram post.

"I’m so glad someone from his own family is going to play him," one person said. "Wow he looks just like his uncle," said another. "I thought this was actually him," a different commenter said.

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Michael Jackson
Source: MEGA

"There are biopics — and there’s Michael Jackson," producer Graham King said.

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The new photo came after Sony Music Group acquired half of Michael's publishing and master recordings lsat week. The assets are worth at least $1.2 billion, making it the largest valuation ever for a musician's catalog.

Sony's $600 million stake will not include royalties from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical MJ or any other theatrical productions of Michael's work. His hits including "Beat It" and "Bad" were included in the deal.

Private music publishing and talent management company Primary Wave will retain its 10% stake in Michael's catalog.

Michael Jackson
Source: MEGA

The photo came after part of Michael's catalog was sold to Sony Music Group last week.

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Michael and his siblings grew up in Gary, Indiana, a decaying industrial city about 30 miles southeast of Chicago.

Their father Joe Jackson was an amateur musician who wanted to see his ten children succeed in the industry.

Joe formed Jackson 5 and held the group to a tight rehearsal schedule. Later in life, Michael said his father was often abusive toward him and the other children.


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