Michael Jackson Biopic Dazzles With Surprise First Look at CinemaCon

Hollywood Gossip
2 min readApr 11, 2024

Producer Graham King revealed the project will include more than 30 songs and be “long.”

BY AARON COUCH, April 10, 2024.

A surprise look at the Michael Jackson biopic Michael closed out Lionsgate’s panel at CinemaCon Wednesday and gave a jolt to theaters owners, who gave a warm reception.

Producer Graham King revealed the project will include more than 30 songs and teased it would be “long” in order to do the music star’s story justice.

“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, alluding to the multiple scandals Jackson faced.

The trailer began with a look at the Jackson 5 performing “ABC” on TV, and then cut to a 1990s-era concert of Jackson performing “Man in the Mirror.” There are also images of a masked Jackson being hounded by fans and paparazzi. Jackson’s real-life nephew Jaafar Jackson stars as Michael, and in the trailer has a strong resemblance to his uncle and appears to have captured his dancing and stage presence.

“You never were like anyone else,” Jackson’s mother (portrayed in the biopic by Nia Long) says at one point in the trailer, which sells the film as going beyond the controversy to reveal the man.

Antoine Fuqua directs Michael, which is made in cooperation with Jackson’s estate, calling into question how deeply it will tackle allegations of abuse. But King said Wednesday there is an expectation to be objective in a biopic.

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

The feature has an April 18, 2025, release date. It also stars Colman Domingo as patriarch Joe Jackson and Miles Teller as manager John Branca. The trailer was not released outside the room and comes amid the halfway point in production on the film. Said King: “We are incredibly proud of this movie. I’m looking forward to giving to the audience a film like they’ve never seen before.”