Nia Long to Play Michael Jackson’s Mother in Biopic for Lionsgate and Universal

Nia Long will take on the role of Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, in the upcoming Lionsgate and Universal musical biopic “Michael,” the companies announced on Tuesday.

The film stars Jackson’s own nephew, Jaafar Jackson, as the music icon in a film directed by Antoine Fuqua, of “Training Day” and “The Equalizer” fame. Graham King/GK Films will produce the film, with a script written by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan.

Long joins a cast which includes Oscar nominee Colman Domingo, who was cast last week in the role of Jackson’s father, Joe. The film is curently in production.

“Beyond Nia’s incredible talent, I was deeply moved by her connection to the material and her commitment to honoring Katherine and the love she had for her son,” King said in a statement to TheWrap.

Fuqua added: “Nia has delivered iconic performances throughout her career. I’ve been a fan for a long time because her characters stay with you. I’m excited to now work alongside her as she pours all of that into Katherine Jackson: a woman who was the glue, the rock, and the heart of the Jackson family during its best and its most turbulent times.”

Long added: “Katherine Jackson is an incredible pillar of strength and grace for the entire Jackson family. As a mother, she was selfless and endured forces beyond her control yet still managed to help build a legacy beyond measure. I am honored to bring her voice to the screen and share Michael Jackson’s story with audiences everywhere.”

Nia Long is an award-winning actor known for her iconic work and legendary roles across both film and television.  Long most recently starred opposite Eddie Murphy, Jonah Hill, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the worldwide hit Netflix comedy “You People” from Kenya Barris, debuting at #1 on Netflix.

Long also recently reprised her role for the Peacock limited series “The Best Man: The Final Chapters,” which earned her a 2023 NAACP Award. She also headlined “Missing,” Sony Pictures’ follow-up to the box office hit “Searching.” Long is a recent Grammy nominee, appearing on Janelle Monáe’s “The Age of Pleasure,” nominated for Album of The Year, and her upcoming memoir will be published in 2025 by Gallery Books. Long is a longtime supporter of the United Nations Foundation.

Long is represented by Verve Talent and Literary Agency, Narrative, and Meyer & Downs.

Lionsgate and Universal will release “Michael” in theaters on April 18, 2025.

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