Sony Pictures and Sony Music have officially landed the rights to produce a pic of Michael Jackson’s final concert tour.
“This it” will be released worldwide October 30.
The flick, directed by Kenny Ortega (who choreographed the show), will consist of rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage shot while Jackson prepped to perform 50 concerts in London.
The material was shot in HD in June at Staples Center and the Forum in Los Angeles. Said film will reportedly feature select sequences in 3-D.
Sony acquired the footage from AEG Live and the Michael Jackson estate for as much as $60 million. AEG had started the bidding at $50 million.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Beckloff approved the deal Monday.
“This historic recording of the last time (Jackson) sang and danced on stage shows the legendary artist in an incredibly powerful way, with crystal clear images and sound,” Sony Pictures chairman-CEO Michael Lynton tells Variety.
The judge had until Monday to approve the film and allowed Jackson’s mother, Katherine, to review the contracts and raise any objections, which she declined to do, adds The Hollywood Reporter. Under the terms of the contract, the film will be screened for Jackson’s estate and cannot include any footage that puts the superstar in a bad light.
Attorney John Branca and music exec John McClain, both special administers for the estate, joined the announcement.
“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,” Branca said.
“People who have seen this footage are astounded by the amazing quality of Michael Jackson’s performance,” Lynton added. “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. We understand the importance of producing a film that pays tribute to Michael as an artist, and are honored to work with the estate of Michael Jackson to give audiences the gift of his final performances.”