Lionsgate, along with Universal Pictures International, announced today that the Emmy Award-winning actor Colman Domingo will portray Joe Jackson, the hard-driving, singularly focused, controversial patriarch of the Jackson family, in the upcoming epic Michael Jackson biopic Michael.
Domingo’s tour de force performance in Rustin has earned him nominations for the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, SAG Award, and Golden Globe Award, as well as a Palm Springs International Film Festival Award and nods from many other critics and awards organizations.
Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International have slated the worldwide release for April 18, 2025. The film is now in production. Jackson’s nephew, Jaafar Jackson, will be introduced to worldwide audiences in the starring role of the beloved musical icon.
Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer films) will direct the film with Oscar winner Graham King/GK Films (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Aviator, The Departed) producing from a script by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan.
“Few actors present themselves with Colman’s screen presence and force of will,” said King. “We’re so fortunate to have an actor with his undeniable talent portraying Joe Jackson on screen. We couldn’t be more excited to have him join us on this journey.”
Fuqua added, “Colman has such incredible range – he puts in the work to deeply inhabit his characters and understand their true essence and motivation. I’m grateful to be working with an actor with his passion and ability to portray the many sides of Joe Jackson: a husband, a father, and a manager.”
Colman Domingo said, “I’m excited to be a part of a film that explores both the complicated soul of the legendary Michael Jackson as well as his impact on music and culture as a global icon. Not only am I fortunate to have a rich, complex, and flawed character to portray in Joe Jackson, but I also have a front-row seat for Jaafar’s incredible transformation.
“After seeing him in rehearsal, my mind was blown. There is something divine about the way that Jaafar is channeling his late uncle. His talent and embodiment of Michael’s essence is simply on another level.”
In addition to his performance in Rustin, Colman Domingo is also an Emmy winner for his guest role in Euphoria. He has also received acclaim for his work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Zola, and the newly conceived musical film version of The Color Purple, as well as his just-completed starring role on Fear the Walking Dead.
With a long list of prestigious theater awards and credits, Domingo will next appear in Drive-Away Dolls opposite Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Pedro Pascal, Bill Camp, and Matt Damon, for Academy Award-winning writer-director Ethan Coen, in theaters next month.
Later this year, Colman Domingo will also be seen starring in the feature film Sing, Sing and in The Madness, Netflix’s upcoming limited series.
Michael will bring audiences a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became known worldwide as 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, captured by his most iconic performances.
As never before, audiences will experience an inside look into one of the most influential, trailblazing artists the world has ever known.
Michael will be produced by King and the co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate, John Branca and John McClain. Lionsgate is distributing the film domestically, while Universal Pictures International will handle all territories apart from Japan, which Lionsgate will oversee.
Mirko Parlevliet has been reporting on the entertainment industry since 1998 and founded Vital Thrills in 2018 to cover the latest streaming, movie, TV, and video game news. Mirko previously created the websites ComingSoon, Spider-Man Hype!, SuperHeroHype, and ShockTillYouDrop.