'Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D' to Premiere at Venice Film Festival

Director John Landis supervised rerelease of legendary 1983 video to ensure "highest quality audio and visual experience"

'Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D' will premiere at the Venice Film Festival, three years after Jackson estate announced plans to rerelease the video. Credit: Optimum Productions

Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D will premiere at the upcoming Venice Film Festival, three years after Jackson's estate settled their legal battle with director John Landis and first announced plans to rerelease the singer's "Thriller" music video in 3-D.

Landas, along with Optimum Productions, supervised the updated version of the legendary 1983 video – the greatest music video of all time – that now boasts "the highest quality audio and visual experience" via "the latest available technology" in addition to the 3D conversion.

"I am so happy to have had the chance not only to restore but enhance Michael Jackson's Thriller," Landis said in a statement. "We took full advantage of the remarkable advances in technology to add new dimensions to both the visual and the audio bringing it to a whole new level. Even though Thriller was shot traditionally, I was able to use the 3-D creatively. Let me just warn you, there is a rather shocking surprise in there."

Jackson estate co-executors John Branca and John McClain added, "Michael Jackson made Thriller a rich theatrical experience: Fun, funny, scary and wildly entertaining. No one before or since has made anything like it. Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D is a modern day technical enhancement of his and John Landis’ original vision, and I think fans will love it."

The premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which begins August 30th, will also include a screening of the Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller documentary that aired on MTV and Showtime when the video first premiered; the mini-documentary, created to offset the production costs of the "Thriller" video, has been out-of-print since the VHS stopped being produced in 1990.

Plans for a wider release for Michael Jackson's Thriller 3D have not yet been revealed. The 3-D version of the 14-minute short film was originally conceived as a backdrop during Jackson's planned This Is It tour. However, shortly before Jackson's death, Landis and the singer's estate soon became embroiled in a legal battle over the ownership of the film, a fight that lasted nearly five years.