Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ to receive official making-of documentary

The film will feature never-before-seen footage, and arrives ahead of the album's 40th anniversary

A making-of documentary about Michael Jackson’s album ‘Thriller’ is underway, with Sony Music Entertainment and Jackson’s estate on board to produce the project.

As reported by Deadline, the as-yet-untitled documentary is being directed by music historian and filmmaker Nelson George, and will chronicle the meteoric success of the late pop star’s record-breaking sixth studio album. The film will feature never-before-seen footage and interviews, and will trace the album’s culture-shifting music videos.

Speaking of the documentary’s focus in a press statement, George said that ‘Thriller’ “redefined Michael Jackson” and took “him from teen star to adult superstar”. George went on to reference the album’s accompanying visuals — which included videos for the title track and lead singles ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Beat It’ — saying that they “created a new template for marrying music and image”.

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“It’s been a privilege to explore this extraordinary album and revisit its magic,” George concluded.

News of the documentary comes a month ahead of the 40th anniversary of ‘Thriller’, which was released in November of 1982. The album garnered eight Grammy wins, and went on to become the most popular record of all time with 47 million copies sold.

In celebration of the album’s anniversary, Jackson’s estate announced in May that it would release ‘Thriller 40’, a double CD set featuring a remastered version of the original plus demos and rarities. In the lead-up to its release, the estate has named the titles ‘She’s Trouble’ and ‘The Toy’ among some of the songs that will feature on the bonus disc.

News of the making-of documentary arrives amid talk of a more dramatised biopic focussing on Jackson. In July of this year, the singer’s nephew TJ Jackson claimed that a film about his uncle is “going to happen”, saying that the biopic was necessary to reframe the “awful” child abuse allegations levelled against Jackson.

Earlier in February, it was reported that Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King had signed on to produce Michael, an upcoming Jackson biopic co-produced by the singer’s estate. King had secured the rights to make a film about Jackson’s life and career in 2019, months after HBO aired allegations child sexual abuse in the docuseries Leaving Neverland

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