Nia Long to Play Michael Jackson's Mom Katherine in Biopic

Nia Long has signed on to play Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael Jackson and matriarch of the Jackson family, in an upcoming biopic about the King of Pop. On Tuesday, Lionsgate announced that Long has joined the cast of Michael, which is currently in production and slated to hit theaters April 18th, 2025. Nia commented on joining the cast in a press release, expressing, "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," Nia said of Katherine, 93. "I am honored to bring her voice to the screen and share Michael Jackson’s story with audiences everywhere." The film -- directed by Antoine Fuqua and penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan -- is set to star the "Thriller" singer's cousin, Jaafar Jackson, as the iconic music superstar. Jaafar, the son of Jermaine Jackson, performed alongside his famous uncles for years. In an interview with EW, Fuqua said he was "blown away" by Jaafar's portrayal of his uncle. "It's uncanny how much he's like Michael. Sounds like him, dances like him, sings. It's really uncanny," he said. Colman Domingo, who is nominated this awards season for his performance in Rustin -- will portray the family's famed and controversial patriarch, Joe Jackson -- who died in in June 2018 at age 89. "It's the work that we hope to do as actors," Colman said of telling the story of Bayard Rustin in the acclaimed film. "We wish we're given an opportunity like this. And now, acknowledgment like this, that's the icing on the cake." "He's no longer marginalized in history books," he added of his character, who was also an advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped organize the 1963 March on Washington. "His efforts, what he did, what he gave, what he dedicated his life to, mattered and it matters to many people. People recognize it now, and if I've been any small part... I would say, we've changed the course of history. We've righted some wrongs."