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Michael Jackson biopic cast adds Diana Ross, LaToya and more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

The forthcoming, family-approved Michael Jackson biopic is shoring up its cast of characters who played an integral part in the late King of Pop’s early career during the Motown era and beyond.

“The Vampire Diaries” actress Kat Graham has secured the role of Diana Ross, who introduced the Jackson 5 to the public in the 1960s and served as a key influence in Jackson’s life.

Larenz Tate, known for roles in “Dead Presidents,” “Love Jones” and the Starz “Power” franchise, has been tapped to play the role of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, who signed the Jackson 5 to the hit factory in 1968.

British actress Jessica Sula will portray Jackson’s older sister LaToya Jackson, who was close to him as he branched off into a solo career as a young adult.

“Insecure” heartthrob Kendrick Sampson snagged the role of Grammy-winning songwriter, composer and music producer Quincy Jones, who helped shape Jackson’s adult solo success with 1979’s breakthrough “Off the Wall,” the 1982 global smash “Thriller” and 1987’s “Bad.”

Liv Symone, currently seen in “Power Book III: Raising Kanan,” will portray R&B powerhouse Gladys Knight, another Motown hit-maker who had a hand in introducing the Jackson clan to Motown executives.

Kevin Shinick (of “Robot Chicken” fame) has been cast as “American Bandstand” host Dick Clark, while KeiLyn Durrel Jones will play Bill Bray, Jackson’s bodyguard, trusted friend and confidante.

“I’m thrilled that we were able to bring together such a gifted group of actors for this film,” producer Graham King said in a statement. “What they bring to these key roles provides a rich backdrop for the movie, adding to the extraordinary ensemble.”

The new lineup of talent joins previously announced cast members Nia Long and recent Oscar nominee Colman Domingo, who will play Jackson parents Katherine and Joe Jackson.

Jackson’s nephew Jaafar Jackson has been tapped to play the titular role in the Antoine Fuqua-helmed film, scheduled to hit theaters in April 2025.