The Thriller singer is being played as an adult in the film, currently called Michael, by Jackson’s brother Jermaine’s son Jaafar Jackson, in his film debut.
Seen in a picture released on Tuesday to Instagram, 27-year-old Jaafar stunned fans as he recreated a moment from his uncle’s Dangerous Tour, which ran between 1992 and 1993.
His outfit is a perfect copy of Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’ look of white V-neck T-shirt and billowing white shirt over the top, complete with black trousers and his hair worn longer and tied up at the base of his head.
‘I thought this was actually him,’ wrote fan Mary Cappiello in the comment section, while Jeffrey Williamson exclaimed: ‘So this ain’t Mike? Get TF outta here. 🙌🙌🙌’
‘The fact that he looks exactly like Michael is insane,’ shared Andrew Dustin Vargas, while Edward Sanchez agreed, adding: Wow he looks just like his uncle.’
‘Yo I actually thought that was MJ for a sec. This is gonna be so good,’ another fan enthused, while Luis Perez praised Jaafar’s look as ‘dead on’.
Other excited fans labelled the film’s first look as ‘mesmerising’ and ‘phenomenal’ while there were also already some hailing it ‘a masterpiece’ and predicting that Jaafar would ‘undoubtedly [be an] Oscar nominee’.
‘When I first heard about this I thought was going to be another terrible Lifetime type of film but they’re really going for it and getting it right,’ admired Jason Honeycutt.
‘I’m so glad someone from his own family is going to play him,’ added another fan, Tonica.
Poignantly, Jaafar was photographed by the same photographer, Kevin Mazur, who took pictures of Jackson over his career, up to and including the final rehearsal for his This Is It concert residency, which was cancelled after the star’s shock death aged 50 in June 2009.
‘With Jaafar, every look, every note, every dance move is Michael. He embodies Michael in a way that no other actor could,’ producer Graham King – who was also behind Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody – said in a statement.
According to its marketing material, Michael promises fans a ‘riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant 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,’ it adds.
Shooting began in late January, with a planned release of April 2025.
Nibe-year-old Juliano Krue Valdi has been cast as the young Michael, with The Equalizer filmmaker Antoine Fuqua on directorial duties.
Michael is set to be released in US cinemas on April 18, 2025, with a UK date yet to be announced.
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