A Michael Jackson film built around rehearsal footage left behind after his death will be released in a limited two-week run worldwide.
Distributor Sony announced that the release date for 'Michael Jackson: This Is It' had been moved to October 28, two days earlier than previously announced. Tickets go on sale on September 27.
The studio also announced long-time Jackson collaborator Kenny Ortega was directing 'This Is It', which offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Jackson preparing for a series of shows at London’s O2 Arena before he died on June 25.
Ortega had been working with Jackson on the 'This Is It' concert tour, which had been planned as a colossal 50-show engagement at the arena. His other credits include the 'High School Musical' movies and an upcoming remake of 'Footloose'.
“This film is Michael’s gift to his fans,” Ortega said.
“It’s a very private, exclusive look into a creative genius’s world. For the first time ever, fans will see Michael as they have never seen him before – this great artist at work. It is raw, emotional, moving and powerful footage that captures his interactions with the This Is It collaborators that he had personally assembled for this once-in-a-lifetime project.”
Sony paid €42m for rights to the film, which will be drawn from more than 100 hours of footage shot in Los Angeles between April and June as Jackson prepared for the concerts that were to begin in July.
The film makers initially intended to include some 3D footage but dropped that plan.
The film will show Jackson working with singers, dancers, musicians, choreographers and special effects experts.