First Look Jaafar Jackson in Man In The Mirror

Source: Courtesy / Lionsgate

Yesterday (February 13), worldwide audiences received their first look at Jaafar Jackson in performance as Michael Jackson, bringing to life the “Man in the Mirror” from the legendary 1992-1993 Dangerous Tour. The iconic photo, captured by renowned photographer Kevin Mazur, was released by Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International, the studios behind the much-anticipated April 18, 2025 film ‘Michael.’

The choice to have Mazur capture the first-look photograph of Jaafar Jackson is as intentional as so many of the artistic choices the producers have made. As one of the photographers who documented Michael over many years, Mazur captured rehearsals as he prepared to entertain the world with his ‘This Is It’ concerts. He is now also the first to photograph Jaafar Jackson in character as Michael.

“When I arrived for my first day on the set of this movie, I was so excited – it was like the first time I went on tour to shoot Michael Jackson,” said Mazur. “When I walked onto the set, I felt like I’d gone back in time and I was walking into the stadium to shoot the tour. Seeing Jaafar perform, I thought, ‘Wow, it is Michael.’ The way he looks and acts, his mannerisms, everything – he’s Michael Jackson. For anyone who didn’t have the chance to see Michael perform live during his lifetime – this is how it was.”

“With Jaafar, every look, every note, every dance move is Michael,” said producer Graham King. “He embodies Michael in a way that no other actor could.”

Director Antoine Fuqua added, “We have assembled an incredible team of artists for this project – hair & makeup, costumes, cinematography, choreography, lighting, everything – and some who knew and worked with Michael are reuniting for this film. But most importantly, it’s Jaafar who embodies Michael. It goes beyond the physical resemblance. It’s Michael’s spirit that comes through in a magical way. You have to experience it to believe it.”

‘Michael,’ which is now in production, 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.

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. ‘Michael’ is 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.

Stay tuned for more updates on the film as they come and check out a snippet of Jafaar Jackson’s ‘Rebirth of Michael’ below! Share your thoughts on the song and the first look photo of Jafaar as his uncle ‘The King of Pop’ in the comment section!