‘The Vampire Diaries’ star to play Diana Ross in ‘Michael’ biopic

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The upcoming Michael Jackson biopic, Michael, has announced a new collection of cast mates.

Among the roles that have been newly cast for Michael, are legendary figures such as Diana Ross, Quincy Jones and the King of Pop’s older sister La Toya Jackson. According to a report from Variety, The Vampire Diaries star Kat Graham will portray the iconic Diana Ross.

Graham wrote of her casting on social media: “Grateful to play the legendary Diana Ross… directed by the great Antoine Fuqua. I can’t wait for everyone to see this film and the brilliant performances in it. Thank you Graham King, Vickie Thomas and Mr. Fuqua for allowing me the privilege of supporting the retelling of such a pivotal era in our music history.”

Additionally, Variety reports that the role of Quincy Jones, an influential figure in Michael Jackson’s life – having met the would-be King of Pop when Jackson was just 12 – will be played by Insecure‘s Kendrick Sampson.

Motown Records founder Berry Gordy will be played by Larenz Tate, who previously portrayed Quincy Jones in 2004’s Ray. Michael’s older sister La Toya Jackson will be played by Jessica Sula (Split), while Liv Symone plays Gladys Knight, Kevin Shinick plays Dick Clark and Keilyn Durrel Jones plays Bill Ray.

They all join previously announced cast members Jaafar Jackson, Colman Domingo, Miles Teller, Nia Long and Juliano Krue Valdi.

Jaafar Jackson as Michael Jackson in MICHAEL. Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur

It was announced in January 2023 that Michael Jackson’s own nephew, Jaafar Jackson, will play the King of Pop in the film. Jaafar is the son of Michael’s brother Jermaine. This will be the 27-year-old’s film debut, although he has appeared in the Lifetime reality show The Jacksons: Next Generation.

The role of Michael’s father Joe Jackson will be filled by Colman Domingo. Domingo has been nominated for an Oscar this year for his portrayal of civil rights leader Bayard Rustin in Rustin, and he has also appeared in EuphoriaSelma and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Miles Teller will play John Branca, Michael’s manager after his father, and the man who was instrumental in launching his solo career. Branca is also listed as an executive producer on the film. Teller is known for his appearances in WhiplashFantastic Four and Top Gun: Maverick.

 

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