“It’s all for love. L.O.V.E.”
So says Michael Jackson in the trailer for the documentary, “This Is It.” He was explaining why he’d decided to launch a series of comeback concerts in London after more than a decade without a major tour.
His reasons for putting on the shows — massive stage productions reportedly involving almost two dozen set changes — were clearly more complex than that one word, “love,” can capture. But it’s not far from the truth, as Kenny Ortega, who directed both the doc and the planned concerts, made clear in an interview with MTV News.
“Michael said, ’We can’t just do it because we can. We have to do it because it’s right, because it’s meaningful, because there are powerful reasons behind an idea or it’s not worth going out there,’ ” Ortega said.
As the director explained, for MJ, those powerful reasons numbered three: his family, his fans and his hope for — and yes, his love of — the future of humanity. “He wanted to do it because he wanted to involve his children in his life creatively,” he said. “He wanted them to be able to experience what it was, that he loved his whole life, now that they were curious, old enough to be able to appreciate it, and he was still young enough to do it.”
Additionally, Jackson wanted to reward his loyal fanbase with a live show — not just featuring the King of Pop, but one he wanted to be bigger and badder than any other before it. “The fans meant everything to Michael,” Ortega told us. “They were his food, his fuel, his life source, his energy, and he was energized by them and he appreciated their loyalty more than I can ever say. This film is for the fans.”
But in the end, love was really the driving force behind the concerts. “Most importantly, Michael wanted to do this because he wanted this to be a call to arms,” Ortega said. “This is it. Come on world, take responsibility. We need to love each other more, put more love back into the world. We need to take care of the planet or we’re not going to have one for future generations.”
Don’t miss “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” Premiere Special, airing on MTV and VH1 on Tuesday, October 27 at 8:30 p.m. ET! “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” opens in a limited engagement on October 27 and wide on October 28.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Michael Jackson’s This Is It.”