Sony Close to Michael Jackson Film Deal

ON

Sony Pictures is close to a deal to make a feature film on Michael Jackson drawing on the 80 hours of rehearsal footage filmed for concerts Jackson was preparing to perform in London, reports Variety.

The studio is expected to pay more than $50 million for worldwide rights to AEG Entertainment, which owns the footage and showed it to studios last week.

The film will feature at least three videos, including an alternative version of Jackson’s “Thriller,” which were shot to be interstitial programming during the London concerts. The footage was meant to play in 3-D, but it’s unclear as yet whether the feature film will present it that way.

“High School Musical” director Kenny Ortega, who shot the rehearsal footage, is expected to direct the feature, and sources said he’s already beginning to put together the footage so Sony can release the film before year’s end.

Sony Pictures’ sibling company Sony Music Entertainment owns music publishing rights to Jackson’s songs.