Nia Long is joining the Jackson family. The actor will star in Michael, the biopic of late pop star Michael Jackson. Long will portray Katherine Jackson, family matriarch to the Jackson musical family, Lionsgate announced Tuesday.
The film stars Jaafar Jackson, who is Michael Jackson’s nephew, as the music icon. Oscar nominee Colman Domingo is starring as Joe Jackson, Michael’s father, while 9-year-old actor Juliano Krue is playing a young version of Michael.
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Director Antoine Fuqua praised Long in a statement, saying he was excited to “work alongside her as she pours all of that into Katherine Jackson: a woman who was the glue, the rock, and the heart of the Jackson family during its best and its most turbulent times.”
Long called Katherine Jackson “an incredible pillar of strength and grace for the entire Jackson family.” Long is known as the star of the Best Man franchise, and last year starred in You People, the Netflix feature also starring Jonah Hill, Lauren London and Eddie Murphy. Her other notable credits include Friday and Boyz N the Hood.
Michael, due out April 18, 2025, is being made in cooperation with Jackson’s estate. Though the filmmakers say the movie will tackle all aspects of Jackson’s life, it’s unclear if it will address accusations that he sexually abused children. Jackson’s estate previously defended him against these accusations, which were resurfaced in the 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.
Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King is producing Michael, with John Branca and John McClain, the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate. Gladiator scribe John Logan penned the script.
Long is repped by Verve, Narrative and Meyer & Downs.
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