Antoine Fuqua’s Michael Jackson biopic finds the film’s La Toya Jackson, Diana Ross, Dick Clark, and more

The cast of Antoine Fuqua’s Michael Jackson biopic expands with actors to play La Toya Jackson, Dick Clark, Diana Ross, and more.

Last Updated on March 26, 2024

Michael Jackson

Antoine Fuqua’s Michael Jackson biopic, Michael, is one of the most anticipated film projects in recent memory. Bringing the King of Pop’s story to life on the silver screen is a Herculean task, and you need shining stars to help it burn bright on screens. Today, Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International announced new vital roles for the forthcoming film, including actors to play La Toya Jackson, Dick Clark, Diana Ross, and more!

Per today’s official press release courtesy of Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International:

Larenz Tate (Love JonesDead Presidents) plays Berry Gordy, the Motown Records founder and impresario. Gordy is the man who redefined American music by developing and giving a national platform to such acts as Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Diana Ross & the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips – and the Jackson 5 – to name a few.

Kat Graham (The Vampire DiariesThe Parent Trap) plays the legendary Diana Ross, lead singer of the chart-topping Motown group The Supremes, who was one of the label’s most successful groups in the 60s before Diana embarked on a celebrated and decades-long solo career in the 70s, along with acclaimed acting roles. Given her star power and influence, Motown would have Diana officially introduce the Jackson 5 to the world. She remained a life-long influence on Michael.

Jessica Sula (Split, Malum) plays Michael’s older sister, La Toya, the fifth child and middle daughter of the Jackson family, who first gained recognition in the mid-1970s on the family’s variety TV series “The Jacksons.” She launched a solo career, releasing multiple albums in the 1980s.

Liv Symone (Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Doing It Wrong) will play Gladys Knight, whose soulful voice and electric performances alongside her family (as the Pips) produced several #1 hits for Motown, including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”; later, her signature song, “Midnight Train to Georgia,” would bring worldwide popularity to the Empress of Soul.

Kendrick Sampson (Fashionably YoursInsecure) plays legendary, 28-time Grammy Awards-winning songwriter, composer, and producer Quincy Jones, who first met Michael when he was just 12 years old. The pair would go on to collaborate on three of Michael’s most successful albums: “Off the Wall” (1979), “Thriller” (1982), and “Bad” (1987).

KeiLyn Durrel Jones (How to Die AloneFear the Night) plays Bill Bray, whom Joe Jackson originally hired in the 1970’s as security for the Jackson 5. Bray went on to work exclusively with Michael for nearly three decades, becoming one of his most trusted friends.

Finally, Kevin Shinick (Robot ChickenWhere in the World is Carmen Sandiego?) plays Dick Clark, host of “American Bandstand,” where the Jackson 5 made a legendary early appearance in their rise to fame.

“I’m thrilled that we were able to bring together such a gifted group of actors for this film,” said producer Graham King. “What they bring to these key roles provides a rich backdrop for the movie, adding to the extraordinary ensemble.”

The rest of the cast includes Nia Long as Katherine Jackson, Colman Domingo as Joe Jackson, Miles Teller as long-time lawyer John Branca, Juliano Krue Valdi as young Michael Jackson, and Jackson’s real-life nephew Jaafar Jackson as the adult version of Michael. Antoine Fuqua is directing from a script by John Logan. We got our first look at Jaafar Jackson in costume as his famous uncle earlier this month, and the likeness is pretty damn uncanny. The production has the cooperation of the Jackson estate, which means that they’ll be able to use his music, but it remains to be seen how much of the famous singer’s troubles will be addressed.

“Michael will bring audiences a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became the King of Pop,” reads the official description. “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. As never before, audiences will experience an inside look into one of the most influential, trailblazing artists the world has ever known.” Michael will hit theaters on April 18, 2025.

Source: Lionsgate

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.