Michael Jackson’s biopic is already dividing opinion (Picture: WireImage)
The Michael Jackson biopic isn’t due for release until 2025, but there’s one detail fans are already unhappy about.
The news was confirmed by the Jacksons themselves, who praised the ‘incredible’ Jaafar on social media for taking on the part and ‘portraying our brother’.
Taking to Instagram with a photo of Jaafar replicating Jackson’s signature moves, they wrote that the Antoine Fuqua-directed film will ‘bring audiences a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became 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, exemplified by his most iconic performances,’ the caption added.
‘As never before, audiences will experience an inside look into one of the most influential, trailblazing artists the world has ever known.’
One word in there rubbed many people up the wrong way, though – complicated.
Expressing their dismay in the comments, Jackson fans argued that the Thriller hitmaker was actually ‘misunderstood’.
‘Misunderstood man not complicated man 🙂’, argued user itsnaonao.
‘Calling him “complicated” goes to show that even his own “family” didn’t know him smh’, blasted sandybiase.
‘That man was not complicated, the family was complicated, the media was complicated, he was as pure as a person can be. He just wanted a life’, wrote iamgogilygoga.
‘Michael was not complicated. The world and people around him were. I know you guys are gonna do your best to show the real Michael but please, be careful with your words,’ commented danivmoreiraa.
Others seemed more open, with user tshields32 urging people to ‘chill out’.
Michael will document the late pop star’s rise to fame (Picture: Steve Granitz/WireImage)
They commented: ‘“Complicated” isn’t an insult. Implies someone has a deeper life and meaning than just performing and making videos. Hopefully we’re all a little complicated. Chill out MJ fans.’
Michael is being made in conjunction with the Jackson 5 singer’s estate and will be co-produced by co-executors John Branca and John McClain.
While the film will explore his rise to pop stardom, it is not yet known how the accusatins of child sexual abuse around Jackson will be tackled.
Already there has been criticism of the project, specifically from Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed who slammed the biopic’s creation.
In an article for The Guardian, he said it would ‘glorify a man who raped children’, questioning why the movie was going ahead given the allegations made against Jackson while he was alive – which he always denied.
Jackson – who died in 2009, aged 50 – faced allegations of child sexual abuse in 1993 and 2003.
Jackson died in 2009 at the age of 50 (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
The allegations affected Jackson’s public image and commercial standing, with further allegations of abuse resulting in a 2005 trial, during which Jackson was found not guilty on all charges.
Additional claims then emerged posthumously.
Speaking about the release of Michael, director Fuqua previously said in a statement: ‘The first films of my career were music videos, and I still feel that combining film and music are a deep part of who I am.
‘For me, there is no artist with the power, the charisma, and the sheer musical genius of Michael Jackson.
‘I was influenced to make music videos by watching his work – the first Black artist to play in heavy rotation on MTV.
Jaafar, 27, Jackson’s nephew, will be playing him in the film (Picture: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for REELZ)
‘His music and those images are part of my worldview, and the chance to tell his story on the screen alongside his music was irresistible.’
Nephew Jaafar has also expressed his pride at being involved.
‘I’m humbled and honoured to bring my Uncle Michael’s story to life,’ he wrote on Instagram when the film’s production was initially announced.
‘To all the fans all over the world, I’ll see you soon.’
Michael will be released in April 2025.
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