Fresh Off His First Oscar Nomination, Colman Domingo Has Been Cast In A Key Role For The Michael Jackson Biopic

Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin
(Image credit: Netflix)

Colman Domingo has been professionally acting for nearly 30 years, and now he’s hit a major milestone for any performer in the business. When the nominees for the 96th Academy Awards were shared earlier this week, it was revealed that Domingo will compete in the Best Actor category for his performance as Bayard Rustin in Rustin, which some of you may consider to be one of the best movies on Netflix. While we have a little over a month to go until we learn if the actor will take home an Oscar, fresh off his nomination being unveiled, it’s been announced that he’s been cast in a key role for the Michael Jackson biopic.

Domingo has been tapped to play Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson’s father, in Michael, which hails from Lionsgate and Universal Pictures International. The actor’s role is described in the official announcement as “the hard-driving, singularly focused, controversial patriarch of the Jackson family,” who passed away in 2018. Domingo will star opposite Jackson’s real-life nephew Jafaar Jackson, who’s playing his late pop star uncle. Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua is directing the biopic, Gladiator’s John Logan wrote the script, and Bohemian Rhapsody’s Graham King is producing through his GK Films banner.

In the announcement, King said that “few actors present themselves with Colman Domingo’s screen presence and force of will,” and Fuqua said he was “grateful” to be working with an actor who has the “passion and ability to portray the many sides of Joe Jackson: a husband, a father and a manager.” Domingo himself had the following to say about his participation in Michael:

I’m excited to be a part of a film that explores both the complicated soul of the legendary Michael Jackson as well as his impact on music and culture as a global icon. Not only am I fortunate to have a rich, complex and flawed character to portray in Joe Jackson, but I also have a front row seat for Jaafar’s incredible transformation. After seeing him in rehearsal, my mind was blown. There is something divine about the way that Jaafar is channeling his late uncle. His talent and embodiment of Michael’s essence is simply on another level.

This will be Colman Domingo’s third time playing a real-life figure in a feature film, as along with Rustin’s title civil rights leader and activist, he also portrayed Ralph Abernathy in 2014’s Selma. Additionally, he played Bass Reeves in an episode of Timeless (funny enough, Selma lead David Oyelowo also played the deputy U.S. Marshal in Lawmen: Bass Reeves, the miniseries released to Paramount+ subscribers last year). Domingo’s other major credits include If Beale Street Could Talk, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Zola, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Fear the Walking Dead and Euphoria, the latter of which netted him an Emmy.

Michael is in production now and will be released in theaters on April 18, 2025. Meanwhile, revisit Colman Domingo’s work on Rustin, or view it for the first time, with your Netflix subscription, ahead of the next Academy Awards ceremony airing March 10 on ABC. Also keep an eye out for the actor’s other upcoming projects, including the movies Sing Sing and Drive-Away Dolls, and the limited series The Madness, which will also be released on Netflix.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.