Colman Domingo lands next two huge film roles in Michael Jackson and Nat King Cole biopics

Colman Domingo in a pink suit.

Oscar nominee and man of the moment Colman Domingo has lined up not one, but two huge film projects, and they’re both biopics of music legends.

The 54-year-old actor recently made Oscar history for his role as queer civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in Netflix biopic Rustin, becoming only the second gay actor ever to be nominated for a Best Actor role for playing a gay character.

It was way back in 1999 that Ian McKellen was nominated for the gong for his portrayal of film director James Whale in period drama Gods and Monsters. McKellen lost the Oscar to Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful.

Domingo will be fighting to make LGBTQ+ history at the ceremony on 10 March, going up against Oppenheimer’s Cillian Murphy, American Fiction’s Jeffrey Wright, The Holdovers’ Paul Giamatti, and Maestro actor and director, Bradley Cooper.

While his sights right now are set on winning the big award, he’s also just bagged two more huge roles to focus on.

Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in Netflix film Rustin
Colman Domingo has been nominated for Best Actor at this year’s Oscars. (Netflix)

Domingo has been cast in Antoine Fuqua’s Michael Jackson biopic Michael, in which he will star as the King of Pop’s father, Joe Jackson.

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Michael Jackson himself will be played by the “Billie Jean” star’s real-life nephew, Jaafar Jackson.

“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,” Colman Domingo told Variety of the casting announcement.

“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.”

Joe Jackson isn’t the only father figure that Domingo will be capturing on screen either, as he’s also been cast as legendary jazz singer and father of Natalie King Cole, Nat King Cole.

The actor revealed to Variety that he’d been writing a script for a Nat King Cole musical film for a “few years”. As well as taking on the role of King Cole, Domingo will also make his directorial debut on the project. 

If there’s anyone who knows enough about King Cole’s life to take on the challenge of portraying him, it’s Domingo: he co-wrote the 2019 play, Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole.

This year is shaping up to be a mammoth one for the Emmy winner; alongside the two biopics, he’s also starring in Pedro Pascal’s lesbian road trip romp Drive Away Dolls, the Oscar-nominated musical The Color Purple, and drama film Sing Sing, as well as producing Netflix’s new horror flick, It’s What’s Inside.

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