Yesterday, Today, & FOREVER The King of Pop

Entertainment Weekly Cover: Michael Jackson’s Movie

When tickets for Michael Jackson’s This Is It went
on sale on Sept. 27, hundreds of shows around the globe sold out in
less than 24 hours, without anyone knowing quite what it even was — a
concert movie? A documentary? “It’s somewhere in between,” says Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal of the film, which consists of
behind-the-scenes footage of Jackson rehearsing for his planned
comeback concerts at London’s O2 arena. “It’s a movie about rehearsing
for a concert that never happened. It’s heartbreaking and inspiring at
the same time. It gives you chills.”

Now, with the October 28th worldwide release of the movie fast
approaching, the late pop star’s collaborators open up about working
with Jackson during his precarious last days. At age 50 Jackson hadn’t
toured in more than a decade, but while his team worried at times about
his health, his imagination was as active as ever.

In fact, as the production got under way, it quickly became clear
that Jackson’s creative ambitions for the concerts were beyond anything
he’d ever attempted. With the budget already past $24 million, Jackson
told his team he wanted to recreate one of the world’s largest
waterfalls — Victoria Falls in southern Africa — on the stage. “I was
ready to jump off the balcony of my office,”
( LOL! ) says Randy Phillips,
president of the concert promotion firm AEG Live. “We went and met with
Michael, and [director] Kenny [Ortega] said, ‘Michael, you’ve got to
stop. We’ve got an incredible show, we don’t need any more vignettes.’
Michael said, ‘But Kenny, God channels this through me at night. I
can’t sleep because I’m so supercharged
.’ Kenny said, ‘But Michael, we
have to finish. Can’t God take a vacation?’ Without missing a beat,
Michael said, ‘You don’t understand — if I’m not there to receive these
ideas, God might give them to Prince.’ ”

Entertainment Weekly

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