Michael Jackson biopic dazzles with surprise first look at CinemaCon

A surprising look at Michael Jackson's autobiography Michael Lionsgate's session at CinemaCon concluded on Wednesday and gave a jolt to theater owners who received a warm reception.

Producer Graham King revealed that the project will include more than 30 songs and hinted that it will be “long” in order to do justice to the music star's story.

“Behind the constant scrutiny, accusations and blinding media spotlight, he was just a man. A man who lived a very complicated life. The film will get into all of that,” King said, referring to the multiple scandals Jackson faced.

The trailer begins with a look at the Jackson 5 performing “ABC” on television, then cuts to a 1990s-era concert of Jackson performing “Man in the Mirror.” There are also photos of a masked Jackson being chased by fans and paparazzi. Jackson's real-life nephew Jaafar Jackson plays Michael, and in the trailer he bears a strong resemblance to his uncle and appears to have taken over his dancing and stage presence.

“She was never like everyone else,” Jackson's mother (portrayed by Nia Long in the biopic) says at one point in the trailer, which sells the film as going beyond controversy to reveal the man.

Antoine Fuqua directs Michael, which was produced in collaboration with Jackson's estate, raises questions about how deeply the abuse allegations will be addressed in the film. But producer King said Wednesday that there was an expectation that the film would be objective in a biopic.

“When you mention his name, everyone has an opinion,” King said. “For the first time… generations of moviegoers will come together to experience an inside look at the most prolific artist of all time.”

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The feature has a release date of April 18, 2025. It also stars Colman Domingo as patriarch Joe Jackson and Miles Teller as manager John Branca. The Out of the Room trailer has not been released, and comes midway through the film's production. “We are extremely proud of this film,” King said. “I look forward to presenting audiences with a film like they have never seen before.”

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