Just in time for Halloween comes a report that former [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] choreographer Kenny Ortega is in talks to direct a big-screen version of "Thriller," the late pop star's groundbreaking music video.
According to a report on Deadline Hollywood, GK Films, the production company from Academy Award-winning producer Graham King ("The Tourist," "The Rum Diary"), is in "active" negotiations to put together a deal to bring the landmark 1983 mini-movie to the big screen. "This Is It" and "High School Musical" director Ortega is attached to direct the $50 million project with a script from "The Hangover" screenwriter Jeremy Garelick.
The project hinges on an OK from the Jackson estate, and a spokesperson for the estate said no confirmation was currently available on the project; representatives for Garelick, Ortega and GK had not returned requests for comment at press time.
The original 14-minute clip was directed by veteran filmmaker John Landis ("Trading Places," "The Blues Brothers"), who is currently involved in a royalties dispute with the Jackson estate over proceeds from the best-selling video of all time. "Thriller" set a new high-water mark for the art of video-making at the time and is still widely considered to be among the greatest efforts ever in the medium, one that continues to influence generations of artists.
The latest to [article id="1650662"]take a swing at "Thriller" is Kanye West[/article], who has said his 35-minute art film "Runaway" drew inspiration from the video, including [article id="1650698"]a nod to MJ in a scene[/article] featuring a giant papier-mâché likeness of the King of Pop.
No details were available about the plot, but Deadline reported that it might follow the ghouly song's "folklore" and possibly include a story line involving the late narrator of the song, film actor Vincent Price, and the town in which he grew up.
As noted on MTV's Movies Blog, a "Thriller" movie helmed by Ortega wouldn't be entirely surprising. Though Ortega has roots in music-based projects and is best known as a choreographer ("Dirty Dancing," "Newsies"), his directing credits include the Halloween-themed 1993 witch tale "Hocus Pocus," starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and a young Thora Birch.
What do you think of plans to make the "Thriller" video into a movie? Tell us in the comments!