Michael Jackson on June 23, 2009, rehearsing for planned London shows
A flavor of what Michael Jackson fans would have seen at his summer concerts in London could be coming to the big screen.
A deal is underway to make the best of some 80 hours of Jackson rehearsal footage into a movie. Before his sudden death
on June 25, Jackson was preparing to perform up to 50 shows at the O2 Arena beginning July 13.
According to Variety
, Sony Pictures is in talks with AEG Entertainment to acquire the rights to the footage of his rehearsals, and High School Musica
l director Kenny Ortega will direct. Ortega was designing and choreographing the "This Is It" shows with Jackson.
Also reportedly included in the film would be a new version of Jackson's iconic Thriller
, which was in the works. The video remake – possibly in 3D – was part of the ambitious plans that the promoters AEG Live and Jackson had for the 50-date concert series.
also reports that AEG is also gearing up to sell rights to Jackson's memorial concert on August 29 – the day that would have been Jackson's 51st birthday.
AEG reps in the U.K. had no immediate comment.