[Spoiler] Documentary On Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ From Jackson Estate And Sony Music Entertainment

CherubimII

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Documentary On Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ In The Works, From Jackson Estate And Sony Music Entertainment

https://deadline.com/2022/10/michae...-mj-estate-director-nelson-george-1235134784/

By Matthew Carey
October 4, 2022 9:02am

MJ_Thriller.png


Production is underway on an official documentary about Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the biggest selling album of all time.

The Michael Jackson estate and Sony Music Entertainment are joining forces for the untitled film, which is being directed by Nelson George, the noted music historian, journalist and documentary filmmaker. Thriller has sold 34 million copies in the U.S. alone and an estimated 100 million copies worldwide, won eight Grammy Awards and yielded seven top 10 singles. It was released 40 years ago next month.

The film “takes fans back in time to the making of the record-breaking album and release of revolutionary short films that redefined the music video format and captivated audiences globally,” according to a release about the documentary. “’Billie Jean’ remains the most streamed Michael Jackson song, and ‘Thriller’ is the only music video that has been inducted onto the elite National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.”

George’s documentary will feature “never-before-seen footage and candid interviews,” chronicling “the point in Jackson’s career that launched the singer into mega-stardom and created a pop culture phenomenon that is woven through the culture and continues to influence the worlds of music, television, dance, fashion and more to this day.”

George’s credits include an upcoming documentary about baseball great Willie Mays and the 2015 documentary A Ballerina’s Tale, about Black ballet star Misty Copeland.

“The release of Thriller redefined Michael Jackson, taking him from teen star to adult superstar, who composed memorable songs, sang beautifully and reached the highest level of on-stage performance,” the director said in a statement. “The album, and the short films they inspired, created a new template for marrying music and image. It’s been a privilege to explore this extraordinary album and revisit its magic.”

Along with “Billie Jean,” Thriller included the tracks “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” “Human Nature,” the title song and “The Girl Is Mine,” a duet with Paul McCartney, among others. Thriller was released by Epic Records and produced by Quincy Jones, who had collaborated with Jackson on his previous album, Off the Wall. The release announcing the documentary highlighted the groundbreaking nature of Jackson’s album — which was No. 1 for an astounding 37 nonconsecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 — and its singles.

“’Beat It’ was a new kind of pop-rock hybrid and demolished the longstanding segregation between black and white music with Eddie Van Halen’s incendiary guitar,” the release noted. “On ‘The Girl Is Mine,’ a Black man and a white man bantered about the same girl. When a fledgling MTV, which was programming white rock artists almost exclusively, refused to play the video for ‘Billie Jean,’ Epic persisted. Once the wall came crashing down, MTV’s ratings soared and a door was opened for a generation of African American artists.”

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Jackson estate, commented, “Michael opened and explored emotional depths and pushed the boundaries of sonic innovation on Thriller. In the process, he breached destructive barriers in the music industry and literally united the world through his music: there isn’t a place on this planet that hasn’t been exhilarated by the music of Michael Jackson. This documentary’s exploration of Michael’s process and impact is revelatory.”

Sony Music Entertainment’s Tom Mackay, president, premium content, added, “Michael Jackson’s Thriller marked a momentous and pivotal moment in both music and pop culture around the world. We’re excited to expand the estate’s documentary collection with our upcoming film and look forward to sharing it with fans around the world.”

Jackson died in June 2009 at the age of 50.

The untitled Thriller documentary is the third nonfiction film to focus on a Michael Jackson album. The previous two, Bad 25 and Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, were directed by Spike Lee. The estate is behind other enormously successful MJ productions, including the 2009 film This Is It, the Las Vegas spectacular Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil, and the Tony Award-winning MJ The Musical on Broadway.

Sony Music Entertainment will distribute the untitled Thriller film. Colin Hanks and Sean Stuart from Company Name serve as producers. John Branca and John McClain serve as Executive Producers. No expected release date has been announced.
 

Hess

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This is great news. And I am glad they gave a new director a chance.

Hopefully there will not be (too much) footage of current popular artists talking about the impact of Thriler.

I want to hear from people who was involved in the making of the album, studio footage, maybe even some live footage from the albums songs . like in the Motown doc and BAD25 doc.

And most of all I hope for new footage of MJ in the studio talking about and discussing his music. A look into the engine. What thoughts did he have, how did he work etc. etc. - I think there is a lot of footage from the studio sessions. Hope we get to see some.

A new director and a new doc - yet another great move by the Estate in 2022. - Has been a great year for them IMO. So many good decisions.
 

dethorro

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Nice, now we have like four different threads talking about the same thing.
 
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kreen

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Those documentaries are always a waste of time for fans, as they’re made for casuals: we never learn anything new, half the time is spent on celebrity talking heads who offer no insight, just endless praise, and any info that could be interesting is jettisoned if it doesn’t fit with the narrative that they want to push.

They’re basically commercials.
 

AlwaysThere

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Those documentaries are always a waste of time for fans, as they’re made for casuals: we never learn anything new, half the time is spent on celebrity talking heads who offer no insight, just endless praise, and any info that could be interesting is jettisoned if it doesn’t fit with the narrative that they want to push.

They’re basically commercials.
Well… yeah. That’s the main reason behind a documentary: to tell the story the general public isn’t aware of. Just because the hardcore fans know something doesn’t mean it isn't worth acknowledging. We’re the outliers. The talking head modern celebrities is absolutely unnecessary and unwanted though.
 

kreen

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Well… yeah. That’s the main reason behind a documentary: to tell the story the general public isn’t aware of. Just because the hardcore fans know something doesn’t mean it isn't worth acknowledging. We’re the outliers. The talking head modern celebrities is absolutely unnecessary and unwanted though.
I can’t wait to hear about how the original mix of the album was so bad that MJ cried, and they had to redo the mix in like 2 days. I hope it’s intercut with clips of Beyonce going « ohmygod ».
 

ChanceToDance

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Is it coming out next month? Ngl it's funny that we're getting 2 Thriller documentaries around the same time.
 

Hess

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Where do you know from it's coming next month?

Or is it just speculation because it would make sense if it was released around the same time at T40?
 

xscape guy 2003

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Sorry what's the 2 Thriller docs? Plus how do we know this will be ready for next month?
 

ChanceToDance

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Where do you know from it's coming next month?

Or is it just speculation because it would make sense if it was released around the same time at T40
I'm asking if it's coming out next month because it's the album's 40th anniversary, if the documentary got announced it can't be that far away anyways.
Sorry what's the 2 Thriller docs? Plus how do we know this will be ready for next month?
 

Annita

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The Thriller documentary will preview parts of it on November 30th.

So we will have more info about it soon. Is any member of the forum in LA tomorrow?
 

MJ5

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so there will be Victory Tour 4k footage in it?
Where will it be streamable?
 

JamieStarr

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First of all, I am sorry but no phones were allowed, but I wanted to share this. I just went to a Thriller 40 event organized by Sony, where the Nelson George documentary was played. I gotta say that it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I had zero expectations and it blew my mind. I have no idea why wouldn't they release this. The never-seen-before footage includes:

- Michael recording The Girl is Mine with Paul McCartney
- New footage from the Making of Beat it in amazing quality
- New footage from the Making of Thriller in amazing quality, including new parts where Michael rehearses the dance on studio (with different outfit)
- A whole new interview with Michael (at home?) just after Thriller in amazing quality
- A LOT of footage from The Victory Tour in the highest quality. I have no words to describe it, and it was also multicamera. It included Wanna be startin' Something, Human Nature, Beat it, Billie Jean...And the way it was recorded is totally different from what you expect. It is similar to how the new footage from Munich is recorded. You had to be there. WOW

I am probably forgetting more things, in case I remember them I will edit this thread. This gave me hope (a little, I am not still very confident) that we will have Victory in the future. The only bad thing is that they still showed Billie Jean in regular quality, so I guess that means we will never have this one in better quality.

Cheers.
 
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