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 take a swing at "Thriller" is Kanye West, who has said his 35-minute art film "Runaway" drew inspiration from the video, including a nod to MJ in a scene 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!