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A Michael Jackson Movie Is Coming to Theaters

5/30/2024 • 2 min read

After his 1964 debut with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson became a star. From the mega-hit album "Thriller" in 1982 to his final album, "Invincible" and his death in 2009, Jackson remained one of the most significant musical superstars in the world, and a driving cultural force who affected fashion, dance, and the very idea of fame.

Now, with the participation of his family, the movie MICHAEL will dramatize Jackson's story for the first time on the big screen. The producers found a surprisingly perfect choice to lead the cast, and the film has already finished production. Here's everything we know about MICHAEL.

What's the Michael Release Date?

Lionsgate will release MICHAEL in movie theaters on April 18, 2025.

Is There a Trailer for Michael?

There is no trailer for MICHAEL yet. No official footage has been released to the public, but footage was shown at the industry event CinemaCon in April 2024. Filming for MICHAEL only just concluded at the end of May 2024, so we may not see a trailer for a couple more months.

Does Michael Have the Rights to Michael Jackson's Songs?

Yes, MICHAEL will feature Michael Jackson's songs. At least 30 songs will be heard in the movie, some likely only partially. Some classic performances are being recreated for the film, including the Jackson 5's early performance of "ABC" on "American Bandstand" that helped propel the group of young singers to stardom.

We don't yet know if we'll hear Michael Jackson's voice in the performances, or if the cast will perform songs themselves — or if the filmmakers are using a mix of the two.

How Will Michael Approach Controversial Aspects of Jackson's Life?

From Michael Jackson's recollections of his father's heavy-handed discipline and emotional abuse to accusations levied against Michael in later years, there are several elements of Jackson's story that an estate-sanctioned biopic might gloss over. Producer Graham King said "We’ll get into all of it," when the first MICHAEL footage was shown at CinemaCon. "Behind the unrelenting scrutiny and the accusations and the spotlight, he was simply a man — a man with a very complicated life."

In a separate statement, King said, "As a filmmaker, I look to humanize but not sanitize and present the most compelling, unbiased story I can capture in a single feature film and let the audience decide how they feel after watching it. Michael clearly remains an impactful, culturally relevant artist with a life and legacy worth exploring."

Who's in the Cast of Michael?

Jaafar Jackson stars as Michael Jackson. He looks quite a lot like the singer, and that's because there's a family relationship; Jaafar is Michael's nephew. Juliano Krue Valdi plays a younger Michael.

The cast also features Colman Domingo as father Joe Jackson, Nia Long as mother Katherine Jackson, and Miles Teller as John Branca, Jackson's long-time lawyer. Laura Harrier plays Suzanne de Passe, who helped the Jackson 5 transform from talented young singers into musical stars.

Jamal R. Henderson plays Jermaine Jackson and Jayden Harville appears as young Jermaine; Tre Horton plays Marlon Jackson while Jaylen Lyndon Hunter plays young Marlon; Rhyan Hill is Tito Jackson and Judah Edwards is young Tito; and Joseph David-Jones rounds out the Jackson 5 as Jackie Jackson, with Nathaniel Logan McIntyre as young Jackie.

The Filmmakers of Michael

MICHAEL is directed by Antoine Fuqua, who might be best known for action movies like THE EQUALIZER series. But he has also made movies such as the boxing drama SOUTHPAW, which is probably closer in spirit to MICHAEL, and has received critical acclaim for directing documentaries about Suge Knight and Muhammed Ali. He won an Emmy for the documentary series "Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers."

MICHAEL is scripted by John Logan (GLADIATOR, THE AVIATOR), and produced by Graham King. That's a notable name, as King was also behind the Queen movie BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, for which Rami Malek won the Best Actor Oscar.


MICHAEL opens on April 18, 2025


All images courtesy of Lionsgate.

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