Michael Jackson Movie Gets Green Light, Hits Theaters in October
The late King of Pop is coming to the silver screen later this year for what turned out to be his final performance. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff, green lit the production deal Monday but halted plans for the sale of Michael Jackson merchandise until a later date.
The film rights, purchased by Sony Pictures Entertainment for $60 million, is comprised of over a hundred hours of Jackson's rehearsal footage as he prepared for his ill fated 'This Is It' tour. Jackson died just three weeks before the July 13 kick-off date.
"People who have seen this footage are astounded by the amazing quality of Michael Jackson's performance," said Sony Picture chairman, Michael Lynton. "This historic recording of the last time he sang and danced on stage shows the legendary artist in an incredibly powerful way, with crystal clear images and sound."
Following the suspicions of Jackson's mother Katherine, Judge Beckloff did not approve the merchandising deal and appointed an independent attorney to hash out estate matters. Katherine alongside Jackson's three young children, for whom she is the guardian of, collectively hold an 80 percent stake in the pop icon's estate. Per the contract, 90 percent of the film's proceeds will go to Jackson's estate.
According to the deal between concert promoters AEG Live and Columbia Pictures, which is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the film must first be screened by the administrators of Jackson's estate. Additionally, the film cannot include any footage that will show the entertainer in a negative light.
The film is scheduled to be released October 30.