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

The late singer’s real-life nephew will portray him in the biopic, which also stars Nia Long and Colman Domingo

<p>BACKGRID</p> Nia Long and Jafaar Jackson were spotted on location in Encino, deeply engaged in the shooting of the highly anticipated movie "Michael," bringing their characters to life amidst the scenic backdrop.

BACKGRID

Nia Long and Jafaar Jackson were spotted on location in Encino, deeply engaged in the shooting of the highly anticipated movie “Michael,” bringing their characters to life amidst the scenic backdrop.
Jaafar Jackson has big shoes to fill as he takes on the role of his uncle.

The actor, 27, will portray Michael Jackson in the upcoming biopic Michael, and the uncanny resemblance between the two was on full display in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Jaafar was spotted on set in a white dress shirt with a black tie, black pants, high white socks and black shoes. He also rocked the icon’s signature curly black hair.

In another photo, he wore a brown cross-body bag as he stood in a doorway beside costar Nia Long, 53, who’ll portray Michael’s mother Katherine in the film.


<p>TheImageDirect.com</p> aafar Jackson is spotted on the set of the new Michael Jackson Biopic in Los Angeles

TheImageDirect.com

aafar Jackson is spotted on the set of the new Michael Jackson Biopic in Los Angeles
Colman Domingo rounds out the cast as Michael’s father Joe in the biopic, which is due out April 18, 2025. Joe, who died at 89 in 2018, managed Michael and his siblings in the Jackson 5, as well as daughters Rebbie, La Toya and Janet for decades.

Filming began on the biopic in January, according to a press release shared by Lionsgate.

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

<p>TheImageDirect.com</p> Nia Long spotted on the set of the new Michael Jackson Biopic in Los Angeles

TheImageDirect.com

Nia Long spotted on the set of the new Michael Jackson Biopic in Los Angeles

The photos from the film’s set come just days after an official first look photo of Jaafar as his uncle, who died in 2009 at age 50, introduced fans to the film.

“With Jaafar, every look, every note, every dance move is Michael,” producer Graham King said in a statement. “He embodies Michael in a way that no other actor could.”

<p>TheImageDirect.com</p> Jaafar Jackson is spotted on the set of the new Michael Jackson Biopic in Los Angeles


TheImageDirect.com

Jaafar Jackson is spotted on the set of the new Michael Jackson Biopic in Los Angeles

Related: Michael Jackson Biopic Director Says Late Singer’s ‘Spirit’ Shows in Nephew’s Performance: ‘Magical’

The film’s director, Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua said of the project, “We have assembled an incredible team of artists for this project — hair and makeup, costumes, cinematography, choreography, lighting, everything — and some who knew and worked with Michael are reuniting for this film.”

“But most importantly, it’s Jaafar who embodies Michael. It goes beyond the physical resemblance. It’s Michael’s spirit that comes through in a magical way. You have to experience it to believe it,” he added.

The first-look image was captured by photographer Kevin Mazur, who said, “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.”

“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,’ ” added Mazur.

“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.”

<p>Kevin Mazur/ Lionsgate</p> Jaafar Jackson as Michael Jackson for 'Michael'

Kevin Mazur/ Lionsgate

Jaafar Jackson as Michael Jackson for ‘Michael’

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The biopic will “bring audiences a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became the King of Pop.”

“The film presents his triumphs and tragedies on an epic, cinematic scale — from his human side and personal struggles to his undeniable creative genius, exemplified by his most iconic performances,” according to a synopsis.

“As never before, audiences will experience an inside look into one of the most influential, trailblazing artists the world has ever known.”

Michael is in theaters April 18, 2025.

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