Child actor, 9, spent years honing Michael Jackson impression before biopic casting
Posted by  badge Boss on Jan 21
The Michael Jackson biopic has cast its Jackson 5 era Michael (Picture: Carl De Souza/AFP via Getty Images)

First look at the new movie, aptly named Michael, shows the singer’s nephew Jaafar stepping into his shoes but he’s not the only one.

to fame right from his time as one of the Jackson Five to becoming the so-called King of Pop.

posted a black and white picture of himself in costume as the adult version of the Bad hitmaker, on his tiptoes in

For Jackson’s younger years, nine-year-old Juliano Krue Valdi has been cast to belt out iconic hits such as I Want You Back, ABC, and I’ll Be There.

Valdi reflected on what this role means to him and shared: ‘This opportunity is really important to me because Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, and he is very special in my heart. I’ve been dancing to his songs for five years now.

‘He makes me feel really special and makes me feel good about myself. I love the energy of Michael Jackson.’

Jaafar Jackson shared a rehearsal snap on his Instagram (Picture: Instagram/Jaafar Jackson)
Nine-year-old Juliano Krue Valdi will play young Jackson (Picture: Instagram/Juliano Krue Valdi)
Caption: American singer Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009) outside at the ABC Studios, 9th July 1971. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) Photographer: Michael Ochs Archives Provider: Getty Images Source: Michael Ochs Archives

Valdi has been performing in New York as Jackson for years and amassed a large social following because of his accurate costumes and stellar moves – including mastering the moonwalk.

The biopic, distributed by Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International, is slated to have a worldwide release on April 18, 2025.

Antoine Fuqua, the man behind Training Day and The Equalizer films, will direct while Graham King and his company GK Films are set to produce the script by John Logan.

Oscar winner Graham King, who is no stranger to biopics after , said: ‘When Michael was very young – eleven years old – he astounded the world, possessing the spirit and talent of an adult.

‘He was truly an old soul. He and Juliano have that in common.’

He continued: ‘Beyond being a phenomenal young talent, Juliano is deeply inspired by Michael and his music, and has managed to translate that inspiration into a presence and performance that captures the true magic of young Michael Jackson.

He said he’s been singing and dancing since he was four (Picture: Instagram/Juliano Krue Valdi)
Principle photography is set to begin shortly (Picture: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

Director Fuqua added: ‘If anything, casting the role of the young Michael was more difficult than casting the adult role, because where do you find a child actor with the chops of the greatest entertainer who ever lived?

‘In the end, that was our focus – talent – and we looked far and wide for an actor who could embody Michael’s spirit through his voice, his charisma, and his dance skills. Juliano’s undeniable, raw talent put him at the top of our list.’

‌Michael is said to be , dramatising as well as his successes on stage.

The Michael Jackson biopic, Michael, is set to hit cinemas on April 16, 2025.