Michael Jackson's Rehearsals Could Become a Movie

Michael Jackson's Rehearsals Could Become a Movie
Michael Jackson on June 23, 2009, rehearsing for planned London shows
Kevin Mazur/AEG/Getty

07/20/2009 AT 02:25 PM EDT

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 Musical 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.

Variety 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.

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