Major congratulations are in order for nine-year-old Juliano Krue Valdi. The multi-talented entertainer is set to play a young Michael Jackson in the upcoming Lionsgate biopic, Michael.

“This opportunity is really important to me because Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, and he is very special in my heart,” Valdi said in an interview with Deadline. He continued, “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.”


And producer of the project, Graham King, and director Antonie Fuqua couldn’t be anymore happier with their casting pick for young Michael.

“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,” King said in the same interview. “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.”

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.”

In addition to this truly talented young entertainer, Jackson’s nephew, Jaafar Jackson has signed on to play young Michael’s uncle.

According to the film’s official synopsis, “Michael will bring audiences a riveting and honest portrayal of the brilliant yet complicated man who became the King of Pop. 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.”

The screenplay for Michael was penned by muliti-Oscar nominated John Logan. Already in the process of filming, Michael is set to debut in theaters on April 18, 2025. 


Photo: Juliano Krue Valdi Instagram; Jaafar Jackson Instagram

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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