Colman Domingo to Play Joe Jackson in Antoine Fuqua’s Michael Jackson Biopic

Colman Domingo, the newly-minted Oscar nominee for his work in “Rustin,” is joining the cast of another buzzy biopic. Domingo will play Joe Jackson in director Antoine Fuqua’s Michael Jackson biopic “Michael.”

Domingo will play the hard-driving, intensely focused father to the Jackson family opposite Jaafar Jackson starring as MJ. Jaafar is Michael Jackson’s real-life nephew and is making his acting debut in the film.

More from IndieWire

“Michael” is now in production, and the film will be released by Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International worldwide on April 18, 2025.

Fuqua is directing “Michael” from a script by John Logan (“Skyfall,” “The Aviator,” “Gladiator”), and the film is produced by Graham King via his GK Films (“Bohemian Rhapsody”).

“Michael” is being billed as the definitive, life and career-spanning biopic about the King of Pop and has the participation of the co-executors to Jackson’s estate, John Branca and John McClain.

“Few actors present themselves with Colman’s screen presence and force of will,” King said in a statement. “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.”

“Colman has such incredible range – he puts in the work to deeply inhabit his characters and understand their true essence and motivation,” Fuqua said. “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.”

“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,” Domingo said. “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.”

Domingo also recently appeared in the musical remake of “The Color Purple,” as well as his starring role on “Fear the Walking Dead” and in an Emmy-winning guest spot on “Euphoria.” He’s also known for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Zola,” and he will next be seen in Ethan Coen’s “Drive-Away Dolls” opening next month, in the indie feature “Sing Sing” and in “The Madness,” a Netflix limited series.

Domingo ahead of his Oscar nomination talked with IndieWire about portraying Bayard Rustin in the Netflix biopic, saying “I have everything I need to get in there. I have the stamina, the physicality, the inquisitiveness, the vulnerability to access so much of this man’s spirit.” He also recently denied reports of chaos on the “Euphoria” set and recalled being passed over for a role on “Boardwalk Empire” because he wasn’t “light-skinned” enough.

Domingo is represented by Gersh, Liebman Entertainment, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.