Production on the upcoming Michael Jackson biopic will kick off next week, and Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International have announced that they have cast up-and-coming actor Juliano Krue Valdi as the young version of the iconic singer.
Juliano Krue Valdi will play the young Michael Jackson during the period when he and his brothers rose to fame as the Jackson 5. “When Michael was very young – eleven years old – he astounded the world, possessing the spirit and talent of an adult. He was truly an old soul. He and Juliano have that in common,” said producer Graham King. “Beyond being a phenomenal young talent, Juliano is deeply inspired by Michael and his music, and has managed to translate that inspiration into a presence and performance that captures the true magic of young Michael Jackson.” Jackson’s real-life nephew Jaafar Jackson will play the adult version of Michael.
Micheal director Antonie Fuqua added, “If anything, casting the role of the young Michael was more difficult than casting the adult role, because where do you find a child actor with the chops of the greatest entertainer who ever lived? In the end, that was our focus – talent – and we looked far and wide for an actor who could embody Michael’s spirit through his voice, his charisma, and his dance skills. Juliano’s undeniable, raw talent put him at the top of our list.“
Valdi also commented on taking on the role. “This opportunity is really important to me because Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, and he is very special in my heart,” he said. “I’ve been dancing to his songs for five years now. He makes me feel really special and makes me feel good about myself. I love the energy of Michael Jackson.“
“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.” John Logan penned the script for Michael, which will hit theaters on April 18, 2025.