Michael Jackson died a little over four months ago, and though hardcore fans never got to see his "This Is It" concerts at London's O2 Arena, they will finally get the first big piece of Jackson's posthumous legacy tonight when "Michael Jackson's This Is It" premieres around the world. (MTV News will be there live tonight at 8:30 p.m. on MTV and VH1 for the "'Michael Jackson's This Is It' Premiere Special.") As director Kenny Ortega explains in the behind-the-scenes clip below, it's a "backstage pass" look at what the "This Is It" concerts could have been. "It's a private peek into the creative process of a great genius," says Ortega.
As other clips have proven, Jackson was an incredible work horse who knew exactly what he was looking for in all aspects of his presentation and performance. In the above clip, he knows exactly how something should be cued and isn't afraid to remind everybody how it is supposed to go.
Even more interesting is the proposed introduction for the "This Is It" shows. The prolonged sequence apparently was supposed to involved pyrotechnics, fireworks, a video package detailing the history of the 20th century called "Glimpses and Flashes" and Jackson's entrance via "Light Man," a robot that also served as a video monitor. Clearly, the "This Is It" concerts were going to be huge, sprawling, expensive affairs (complete with crystal-studded costumes designed by Christian Audigier) that would have been a fitting series of farewells for Jackson if he really did intend to retire following the shows. Tragically, we'll never know what those shows would be like or what would come next for Jackson, but "Michael Jackson's This Is It" promises to provide at least a glimpse of what might have been. Choreographer Travis Payne puts it best: "When the fans go see 'This Is It,' they're gonna have Michael back, just for a little while."
For more on "Michael Jackson's This Is It," stay tuned to MTV News.