CULVER CITY, Calif., August 10, 2009 – Beginning October 30th, the world will have a front-row seat for Michael Jackson’s final concert, as Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment release Michael Jackson’s This Is It.
This Is It is being produced with the full support of The Estate of Michael Jackson and will be drawn from hundreds of hours of rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage, captured in high definition with state-of-the-art digital sound as the late singer was preparing for his concert series in London. The film, which will also offer select sequences in 3-D, will provide a unique career retrospective and feature interviews with some of Jackson’s closest friends and creative collaborators.
The announcement was made by Michael Lynton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of the studio, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, Chief Executive Officer of Sony Music Entertainment, and Rob Stringer, Chairman of Columbia/Epic Label Group, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment. The companies serve as the principal entertainment divisions of Sony Corporation.
Joining Sony in the announcement was The Estate of Michael Jackson, administered by his longtime attorney John Branca and veteran music executive John McClain, a Jackson family friend for more than 40 years. Proceeds the Estate earns from the film’s release will benefit the Michael Jackson Family Trust, the entity that Mr. Jackson specified in his will is to receive all of his assets.
The rights to the exclusive footage were acquired from AEG Live and The Estate of Michael Jackson. Sony Pictures and Sony Music will co-produce with AEG Live and the Estate, and Sony Pictures will distribute the film worldwide. Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware of AEG Live will serve as producers of the film.
The majority of the film’s footage was shot in June, 2009 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, and The Forum in Inglewood, California, as Jackson prepared for «This Is It,» the series of fifty concerts Jackson planned to present at the O2 Arena in London.
This Is It will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer, his career, and the stage spectacular that would have been. The film will provide moviegoers with an unforgettable front row experience compiled from extensive footage that shows Jackson’s meticulous preparation for his 2009 London shows.
Said Branca, «Our goal is to work with partners who treat Michael’s legacy with dignity and respect, while allowing us to substantially build the value of his estate for the benefit of Mrs. Katherine Jackson, Michael’s three children and the charitable causes that meant so much to him during his life. We are confident we found the right partners for this project in Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment. Sony and Michael enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial history together, and it’s only fitting that the relationship continues.»
Said McClain, «This film is not only a tribute to an artist who created excitement every moment he was on stage, but also is a fitting gift to the millions of fans worldwide who loved him and who he devoted his professional life to entertaining. John and I are thrilled to be working with Sony to build on Michael’s musical legacy in a way that will generate significant proceeds for his family and for children in need.»
«People who have seen this footage are astounded by the amazing quality of Michael Jackson’s performance,» said Lynton. «This historic recording of the last time he sang and danced on stage shows the legendary artist in an incredibly powerful way, with cry