It’s Official: Michael Jackson Tour Rehearsals Will Be a Movie

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:27 am,

this is it header It’s Official: Michael Jackson Tour Rehearsals Will Be a Movie

Up until now, Screen Rant has had no real reason to report on the death of worldwide mega-superstar Michael Jackson. His passing on June 25th, 2009, while extremely tragic and quite sad, just didn’t hold a place in the world of movie news. He was after all, the “King of Pop”, not the “King of the Screen”. His music videos during the later 80′s and early 90′s could have very well of been short films, but as he aged and became the focus of bad publicity, those videos became a thing of the past.

Things have changed in the past couple of days that makes this news movie worthy; Jackson’s estate and concert promoter AEG Live have forged a deal with Sony to release a behind-the-scenes style film this fall. Sony is paying $60 million dollars to release This Is It, which is titled after Michael Jackson’s last world tour that he never finished. The film will use some of the hundreds of hours of footage shot during rehearsals in the month of June at both the Staples Center in L.A and the Forum in Inglewood. Think VH1 Behind the Music only longer.

Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) is directing the feature which will be in HDe and in some parts 3-D. I’m not sure why a rehearsal footage movie warrants a 3-D effect but since 3-D is the new red, it doesn’t surprise me in the least to hear that.

If you are a wondering whether the movie will address any of Jackson’s shortcomings, the contract requires the movie to be screened for Jackson’s estate before release. The movie is not allowed to show the “King of Pop” in a manner that would be considered negative. So just like a true Hollywood film, the movie will be a fantasy. One thing I do not understand is why a judge had to sign off on the movie deal? Don’t lawyers usually just work contract issues out amongst themselves?

Jackson’s attorney, John Branca and music executive John McClain (no, not Bruce Willis) – both special administers for Jackson’s estate – CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Michael Lynton and several other Sony big shots were there to soak up the media spotlight by announcing the judge’s decision. Branca had this sound bite to give:

“Our goal is to work with partners who treat Michael’s legacy with dignity and respect, while allowing us to substantially build the value of his estate for the benefit of Mrs. Katherine Jackson, Michael’s three children and the charitable causes that meant so much to him during his life.”

The attorney’s fee on $60 million dollars probably never entered his mind. (Eye Roll)

Not to be out done in the “Look what I can say” category, Lynton added this:

“People who have seen this footage are astounded by the amazing quality of Michael Jackson’s performance. This historic recording of the last time he sang and danced on stage shows the legendary artist in an incredibly powerful way, with crystal clear images and sound. We understand the importance of producing a film that pays tribute to Michael as an artist, and are honored to work with the estate of Michael Jackson to give audiences the gift of his final performances.”

In other words, “I’m stoked about how much cash we are going to make off this worldwide.” Jackson had the leeches hanging on to him in life and the vultures swarming down in death. It’s quite sad, really.

I found my two favorite Michael Jackson clips from when I was a kid and have posted them below. The first is Disney’s Epcot 3-D short film Captain EO. Living in Florida, I remember seeing this the summer it opened and thinking “Wow! This is the coolest thing ever!”  Next is the trailer for Jackson’s only full length feature film, Moonwalker. Hope you enjoy them.

Captain EO

;

Moonwalker

.

Are you going to break out the multi-zipper jacket, surgical mask and glitter glove to watch This Is It or would you rather go watch the Jonas Brothers in 3-D?

This Is It moonwalks its way into theaters October 30, 2009.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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  1. Thanks for the link Ligaya. I obviously was unaware of that.

    Back to the actual movie, I’m not much looking forward to it. That’s not to say I wouldn’t rent it but paying full price…eh? However, a Blu-ray of all of his videos would be outstanding to watch and listen to.

  2. Sorry for getting off topic Vic. As for the movie I think its just a way to cash in on Jackson’s death.

  3. You’re welcome. Just read that MJ was working on dance routines based on Fred Astaire’s & the Nicholas Brothers’ styles for THIS IS IT. I would love to see rehearsal footage of this. “Michael Jackson planned to channel Fred Astaire for ‘This Is It’ shows,” http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/07/14/2009-07-14_michael_jackson_had_planned_to_channel_fred_astaire_for_this_is_it_shows.html#ixzz0O5VF8d6E. And I just discovered this: Fred Astaire + Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal [short film] HQ, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKanPsUjP7w&annotation_id=annotation_211174&feature=iv . Homage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex30DYwQlHU&NR=1

    “Jackson, who had a thorough knowledge of the movie musical, revered Fred Astaire. He records in his memoir how thrilled he was when Astaire praised him. The old master even invited him over to his house, where Jackson taught the moonwalk to him and his choreographer Hermes Pan. (Astaire told Jackson that both of them, he and Jackson, danced out of anger—an interesting remark, at least about Astaire.” http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/dancing/2009/07/27/090727crda_dancing_acocella

    THIS IS IT is the closest I’ll get to approximating watching a live MJ concert – unless they show “Live in Bucharest” (which I haven’t watched yet) in THX digital 3D on IMAX. Before he died, I didn’t own a single thing of MJ’s.

  4. “Martin Scorsese on working together with Michael Jackson,” June 30, 2009: “Michael Jackson was extraordinary. When we worked together on ‘Bad,’ I was in awe of his absolute mastery of movement on the one hand, and of the music on the other. Every step he took was absolutely precise and fluid at the same time. It was like watching quicksilver in motion. He was wonderful to work with, an absolute professional at all times, and – it really goes without saying – a true artist. It will be a while before I can get used to the idea that he’s no longer with us.” http://michaeljackson-tributes.com/2009/06/30/martin-scorsese-on-working-together-with-michael-jackson/

  5. From a Sony press release posted on a blog http://amiscaryforyou-michaeljackson.blogspot.com/ – talks about 3D:

    MICHAEL JACKSON’S “THIS IS IT” TO BE PRESENTED IN THEATERS AROUND THE WORLD BY SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT AND SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

    -Film Drawn From Legendary Entertainer’s Last Rehearsals and Behind-The-Scenes Footage Will Be Released October 30th in High Definition with Digital Sound-

    CULVER CITY, Calif., August 10, 2009 – Beginning October 30th, the world will have a front-row seat for Michael Jackson’s final concert, as Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment release Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

    This Is It is being produced with the full support of The Estate of Michael Jackson and will be drawn from hundreds of hours of rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage, captured in high definition with state-of-the-art digital sound as the late singer was preparing for his concert series in London. The film, which will also offer select sequences in 3-D, will provide a unique career retrospective and feature interviews with some of Jackson’s closest friends and creative collaborators.

  6. more on 3-D, Entertainment Weekly, 8/21-28/09, Fall Movies issue: THIS IS IT, “The studio is also working out technical details to try to include some of the 3-D vignettes Jackson hoped to project on screens during the shows, including one set to’Thriller.’ Concertgoers were going to receive 3-D glasses. No word yet if moviegoers will, but either way, fans are in for an intimate experience.”

  7. Lol, how does anyone know what MJ would have wanted at this point??? Pure assumptions…

    90% go the family, I highly doubt that.

    Bottom line is AEG is trying to recoup their losses on the concert tour that never happened…

    AEG is the same group that pushed him to the brink of death. So by supporting this film you are funding the people that inadvertently killed him. Enjoy!!!

  8. @790: Apparently, you don’t bother reading previous posts. The probate judge signed off on it. From the L.A. Times:

    “Under terms of a 2002 will Jackson signed, his mother and three children receive a combined 80% of his assets, with the remainder going to several unnamed children’s charities. In the deal with Columbia — a division of entertainment giant Sony Corp., which distributes Jackson’s music as an adult solo performer — Jackson’s estate would receive 90% of any movie profit and the rest would go to AEG.” http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-jackson6-2009aug06,0,3142281.story

  9. P.S. Jackson’s estate = 40% to the kids, 20% to charities, 40% to mom Katherine. People are free to see/not see the movie. I’ll enjoy watching the rehearsals, especially if they have footage of the Fred Astaire/Nicholas Brothers-inspired dance routiens he was working on. I love behind the scenes documentaries. + articles say it’ll be part career retrospective w/interviews from friends & colleagues.

    I’m happy to help retire Michael’s debts & contribute to his charities & the kids.

  10. Oops, got careless myself & copied the wrong part of my earlier post. This is an AP report:

  11. Gosh darn it, clicked too soon:

    “The deal was negotiated by two men who are administering Jackson’s estate, longtime attorney John McClain and music executive and Jackson family friend John McClain. It calls for Jackson’s company to receive 90 percent of the film’s profits, with the remainder going to AEG Live.” [Previous news articles reported the will divided the trust as 40% the children, 40% Katherine Jackson, 20% charities. – google it] “Court filings detail Jackson film,” ANTHONY McCARTNEY (AP) – Aug 4, 2009,

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h761FDvBOwcXie9NR_ppzHuNvqfwD99SFKVO1

  12. @Ligaya. I see your point but keep in mind AEG lost over 300 million on the concert tour. They also OWN the footage that was sold to Sony for over 60mil.
    That’s 60mil they keep its not split up in accordance to the Living Will. AEG is a conspiring bunch trust me they will try and get as much as they can out of this even if they have to contest the Will in the future.
    Sure some of the profits from the movie/dvd will find there way into the hands of the Jackson estate but 90%,,,,
    Thats still yet to be seen. ;-)

  13. The death of Michael Jackson was a huge bombshell for anyone who loves the arts in general, though looking back it was perhaps not so surprising. The child molestation charges brought upon him caused his health to spiral out of control, both emotional and physical. Once he began to use prescription drugs to merely get by, that was the time when there came to be no way back, IMO.

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