The good news is that “This Is It,” the documentary chronicling Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for his planned comeback residency at the O2 arena in London will be hitting theaters on October 28, two days earlier than originally announced. The bad news? The film will play in theaters for only two weeks.
According to a Reuters report, the movie will be directed by Jackson’s longtime collaborator and creative partner on the O2 concerts, Kenny Ortega, who will cut together the more than 100 hours of high-def footage from the singer’s rehearsals for the 50-show London run.
“Fans will see Michael as they have never seen him before — this great artist at work,” Ortega said in a statement, describing the footage as “raw, emotional, moving and powerful.” Concert promoter AEG Live shot digital footage of Jackson’s almost-daily rehearsals up until just days before his death, and AEG’s $60 million agreement with Sony-owned Columbia Pictures to release the film is one of the first major deals signed since the singer’s passing.
Jackson died at age 50 on June 25, less than three weeks before the O2 engagement was slated to kick off. The final film will give fans a “rare, behind-the-scenes” look at the enigmatic, self-proclaimed King of Pop, the studio said. A source told Reuters that it will not feature the 3-D sequence that had been previously expected. According to E! Online, the movie will also provide a look at Jackson’s long career and contain interviews with friends and collaborators.
Sony said the release date for the film was pushed up by two days due to overwhelming demand. Tickets will go on sale on September 27 for a worldwide, limited two-week engagement. There is speculation that the short play is intended to ensure time for an expanded DVD release of the film in time for the holidays.