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Michael Jackson Biopic: First Trailer Revealed at CinemaCon

The film, starring Jacko's real-life nephew Jaafar Jackson, is set to hit theaters next year.

Jaafar Jackson
Source: MEGA

Jaafar Jackson has received early praise for his performance.

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Theater owners got a surprise first look at director Antoine Fuqua's upcoming Michael Jackson biopic Michael during Lionsgate's presentation at CinemaCon on Wednesday.

The trailer began with a young Jacko performing "ABC" with the Jackson 5 and then cut to an older Jackson, now played by the late singer's real-life nephew Jaafar Jackson, delivering the King of Pop's signature dance moves and performing hits like "Man in the Mirror" and "Thriller" for a rapturous audience.

"There might be some people who think you’re different, and that’s gonna make life a little harder for you,” Jackson's mom Katherine, played by Nia Long, tells her son in the new footage. "But you never were like anyone else. Michael, you have a very special light. So make that light shine onto the world."

Although the sneak preview has not yet been made available to the public, attendees reportedly received it warmly. And while it's too early for an official verdict, Jaafar Jackson — who looks uncannily like his uncle in early photos from the production — has been singled out for his stage presence, charisma, and dancing ability.

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Michael Jackson
Source: MEGA

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

In his introduction, producer Graham King revealed that the film will be "long" and include more than 30 songs. "Behind the unrelenting scrutiny and the accusations and the blinding media spotlight, he was simply a man. A man who lived a very complicated life. The movie will get into all of it," King said.

"When you mention his name, everyone has an opinion. For the first time… generations of moviegoers will come together to experience an inside look at the most prolific artist who ever lived.

"There are biopics — and there’s Michael Jackson," King added. "We are incredibly proud of this movie. I’m looking forward to giving to the audience a film like they’ve never seen before."

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The film was made in cooperation with Jackson's estate.

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Michael, which is set to hit theaters on April 18, 2025, also stars Colman Domingo as patriarch Joe Jackson, Miles Teller as manager John Branca, Laura Harrier as Suzanne de Passe, Kat Graham as Diana Ross, Larenz Tate as Berry Gordy, and Jessica Sula as La Toya Jackson. Training Day's Antoine Fuqua directed from a script penned by Gladiator screenwriter John Logan.

The film was made in cooperation with Jackson's estate, and two of its executors, John Branca and John McClain, serve as producers. Although Michael will reportedly deal with the abuse allegations against Jackson, his estate's involvement has led some critics to question just how deeply the film will delve into the more controversial aspects of the star's life and career.

John C. Carpenter, an attorney representing two of Jackson's alleged victims in an upcoming trial against Jackson's companies, has denounced Michael as "propaganda" and claimed that the defendants want the movie to come out before the case goes to trial. "These corporations that facilitated the abuse in the first place, they’re rewriting the history," he told Rolling Stone in February.


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