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Nia Long to play Katherine Jackson in 'Michael' biopic

Nia Long will portray Katherine Jackson, the mother of pop star Michael Jackson, in "Michael." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Nia Long will portray Katherine Jackson, the mother of pop star Michael Jackson, in "Michael." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Nia Long has joined the cast of the Michael Jackson biopic Michael.

Lionsgate and Universal Pictures announced in a press release Tuesday that Long will play Katherine Jackson, the matriarch of the Jackson family, in the upcoming film.

Long is known for starring in Boyz n the Hood, The Best Man and other films, along with playing Beullah "Lisa" Wilkes on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Katherine Jackson, 93, was married to talent manager Joe Jackson and is the mother of 10 of his children, including pop stars Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson.

"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," director Antoine Fuqua said.

Nia Long (C) and her sons Kez (L) and Massai attend the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in 2019. File Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
Nia Long (C) and her sons Kez (L) and Massai attend the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in 2019. File Photo by Chris Chew/UPI

"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," Long added.

Lionsgate and Universal announced last week that Rustin actor Colman Domingo will play Joe Jackson in the film.

Nia Long attends the NAACP Image Awards in 2014. File Photo by Ken Matsui/UPI
Nia Long attends the NAACP Image Awards in 2014. File Photo by Ken Matsui/UPI

Michael Jackson's nephew Jaafar Jackson will portray Michael.

Michael will give "a riveting and honest portrayal" of Michael Jackson, who died at age 50 in 2009.

"The film presents his triumphs and tragedies on an epic, cinematic scale -- from his human side and personal struggles to his undeniable creative genius, captured by his iconic performances," an official synopsis reads.

Michael opens in theaters April 18, 2025.