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A Documentary To Commemorate Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Is In The Works

A Documentary To Commemorate Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Is In The Works

He won eight Grammys off this album alone!

Michael Jackson’s estate and Sony just announced that a documentary based on Jackson's 1982 album, Thriller, is in the works, TheGrio reports.

In 2009, we lost an undebatable icon whose legacy we will always keep alive. The most recent honor is Jackson’s estate and Sony announcing that they'll be commemorating the 40th anniversary of Thriller with a documentary directed by Nelson George. As a well-known music journalist, author, filmmaker and music historian, George is the perfect person to make the documentary. He’s directed others such as 2011’s Brooklyn Boheme, 2013’s Finding The Funk, and 2015’s A Ballerina’s Tale. Over the course of his career, he’s covered Michael Jackson many times, penning two books about him: The Michael Jackson Story and 2011’s Thriller: The Musical Life of Michael Jackson. Along with the two other documentaries that have been made based on the pop singer's life, 2012’s Bad 25 and 2016’s Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off The Wall, which were directed by Spike Lee, include interviews with George. 

Spike Lee & Nelson George

George said, “The release of ‘Thriller’ redefined Jackson, taking him from teen star to adult superstar who composed memorable songs, sang beautifully, and reached the highest level of onstage performance. The album, and the short films they inspired, created a new template for marrying music and image. It’s been a privilege to explore this extraordinary album and revisit its magic.” Although named after the classic body of work, the documentary is untitled.

Thriller has been certified 34x platinum, sold 47 million copies, and includes seven Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles like “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Human Nature,” and of course, “Thriller.” The film will discuss the ways in which the album shaped the culture for the past and present, highlight his change from a young artist to global sensation, and feature never-before-seen footage of the star. There will also be candid interviews. Many of the hands that were involved in the creation of the album passed away, such as engineer Bruce Swedie who passed away in 2020, and songwriter Rod Temperton who passed away in 2016. Producer Quincy Jones is still alive, but it is unknown if he will have an appearance in the production. 

Sony Music Entertainment’s president of premium content Tom Mackay spoke on the forthcoming production saying, “Michael Jackson’s Thriller marked a momentous and pivotal moment in both music and pop culture around the world. We’re excited to expand the estate’s documentary collection with our upcoming film and look forward to sharing it with fans around the world.”

Although there's no release date for the film, Sony and Jackson’s estate will also be celebrating the 40th anniversary with Thriller 40, a deluxe edition of the album set to release on November 18th. The double CD will feature remastered versions of the old songs and a few new singles. The estate has been dropping hints of the new songs to come, titled “Behind The Mask,” “She’s Trouble,” “The Toy” and “Got The Hots.”

We’ll keep you all posted on this great story!

Photo: Sony Music Entertainment/