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Was Casting Michael Jackson's Family Member The Best Move For The Michael Jackson Biopic?

TheThings 2/18/2023 Jessica Tucker

After searching far and wide for two years or more, film executives have finally landed on who they feel is the perfect actor to play Michael Jackson in the highly anticipated biopic in the works entitled, Michael. That person had been under their noses for most of the casting process but it was not clear until numerous actors were auditioned and screen tested that it became crystal clear who the actor was that should be transformed into the King of Pop. And that person was none other than Jaafar Jackson, an up-and-coming entertainer and Michael's nephew.

Jaafar may not be the most obvious of choices to tackle a role of the magnitude he will portray in Michael given that the biopic is his film debut. But in 2020, the rising star released his first music video, Got Me Singing, in which he proves that he has the singing and dancing skills that are solid enough to be believable as his uncle. What is not yet known is if he will be able to carry the weight of Michael's biopic on his shoulders.

Before skepticism creeps in with Jaafar and his talents, it should be remembered that there are others who have tackled the roles of their famous relatives and done it well. Some of them were even cast as the person in their debut role. People such as O'Shea Jackson Jr. in Straight Outta Compton, Melissa Rivers in Joy, Geraldine Chaplin in Chaplin, Mario Van Peebles in Baadasssss!, and more. As such, it is not unheard of for relatives to play those who were famous before them in their family. However, there is immense pressure to ensure that mannerisms, dialects, dance moves, and singing, are on point. Perhaps even more so because they are family.

Here is information on whether casting Michael Jackson's family member was the best move for the Michael Jackson biopic.

Katherine Jackson Says Jaafar Jackson "Embodies" Michael Jackson

There is no one who knows a person better than a mother does. And according to Katherine Jackson, Jaafar has what it takes to portray Michael.

"Jaafar embodies my son," Katherine stated. "It's so wonderful to see him carry on the Jackson legacy of entertainers and performers."

Based on Jaafar's music video and an Instagram pic in which Jaafar is portraying Michael in his signature oversized shirt, white socks, and loafers, it appears as though everything is there on paper to be able to tackle what could literally become the role of a lifetime.

Katherine has a unique perspective on Jaafar taking the role in Michael. She was front and center as she watched all of her children reach different levels of fame throughout their careers, meaning Katherine knows what it takes to succeed.

And given she has witnessed Jaafar sing and perform since he was just 12 years old, Katherine would know very well if Jaafar has the talent needed to not only be able to sing and dance like Michael but act to be able to transform viewers as well.

RELATED: 20 Little Known Details About Michael Jackson's Family

As such, her seal of approval behind Jaafar's casting should boost the confidence of Michael's fans worldwide.

Executives Say Jaafar Jackson "Personifies The Spirit" Of Michael Jackson

To say that there are heavy hitters behind the making of the biopic is not giving enough credit. This is because people like Antoine Fuqua and Graham King have their names attached to the film. With movies such as Training Day, Emancipation, and Bohemian Rhapsody between them, the director and producer knew what kind of actor they would need to pull off the iconic nature of the King of Pop. Little did they realize that they had already met their star years ago.

Fuqua and King searched for over two years to find the right person to play Michael. However, they were not able to agree on an actor that fit the bill in all departments.

Instead, they kept coming back to Jaafar as the only person who could do his uncle justice on the big screen, and that is ultimately why he was cast.

Jaafar Jackson © Provided by TheThings Jaafar Jackson

"I met Jaafar over two years ago and was blown away by the way he organically personifies the spirit and personality of Michael," said King explained. "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."

"It's incredibly exciting to watch Jaafar bring Michael to life," Fuqua stated. "There was such a spiritual connection when I first met Jaafar, who has a natural ability to emulate Michael and such a great chemistry with the camera."

RELATED: Janet Jackson Reveals What Changed Her Relationship With Michael Jackson In Documentary

As such, it was a decision that was not taken lightly to cast Jaafar as Michael. He was cast because he was the only one, resume or not, that could make the film great given his apparent ability to give the vibe of Michael in some of his most significant music videos and in performing itself.

Because of this, Jaafar has an opportunity that many other actors are envious of.

Fan Opinions Are Mixed About Jaafar Jackson In Michael

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie © Provided by TheThings Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie

Fans are not sure what to think about Jaafar being cast in Michael. While some want to give the young actor the benefit of the doubt, others have already passed their judgment about what the film will be. Because of this, there have been some heated debates about the biopic.

"This is gonna be even more boring and sanitized than Bohemian Rhapsody," one Reddit user wrote. Another said, "They couldn't even hire an experienced actor, so I'm sure it'll be spectacular."

"As this clearly has the support of the family, this is going to be as whitewashed as Michael himself," a third user explained.

For those who have doubts, there are those who are willing to give Jaafar and Michael a chance.

"The fact it’s directed by Antoine Fuqua gives me a slight glimmer of hope that it’s going to be good but I fear it’s gonna be a run-of-the-mill biopic that is basically just a highlight reel of all his greatest achievements without really going into his personal life," a Reddit user said.

RELATED: Besides Singing And Dancing, Michael Jackson Also Had This Hidden Talent

Another stated, "This is a good idea. Jaafar has similar genetics to Michael, he could portray him really well up until the end of the Thriller era."

"Michael Jackson is one of the most popular artists in the world, it could potentially make more than Bohemian Rhapsody did at the box office. It’s gonna be very big news, especially regarding how they treat the allegations," this Reddit user proclaimed.

While there is both support and hesitation on the part of fans about Jaafar portraying Michael, the biopic is already getting buzz. Buzz equates to dollar signs at the box office. This means that it can be expected that Michael's fans come out in droves to see the film. And love or hate the casting, the film is going to be huge.

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