The release date for This Is It, the film that documents Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for his This Is It run of concerts at London’s O2 Arena, has been pushed up two days, moving from October 30th to October 28th, Sony Pictures announced yesterday. However, according to Variety, This Is It‘s theatrical run will only last for two weeks, so be sure to get tickets early when they go on sale in most major cities starting September 27th.
Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing the This Is It concerts, will serve as director of This Is It. Ortega had previously helmed the High School Musical series. As Rock Daily previously reported, Sony Pictures bought the rights to the rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage for $60 million from AEG Live, who were staging the massive run of 50 concerts that were to serve as the King of Pop’s big comeback. The rehearsals took place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center and the Forum in the weeks before Jackson’s death on June 25th.
“The world will see what our team was so fortunate to experience, which was the full commitment, passion and creativity that Michael put into this project. He was the architect of This Is It, and we were his builders,” Ortega said when the film was announced earlier this month. “It will also show Michael as one of the greatest entertainers in the world and one of the industry’s most creative minds.”
While it was first reported that select theaters will also feature some of the 3-D shorts Jackson had filmed for the London concerts, Variety now writes that those segments have since been cut out of the theatrical film, which under the rules of the contract must run shorter than 150 minutes and secure a PG rating. However, when Sony Pictures acquired the rights to the film, the contract also called for a Director’s Cut DVD, two special-edition DVDs and a This Is It soundtrack, which will reportedly feature one brand new Jackson song. It’s likely that the nixed 3-D segments will appear on one of the iterations of the DVD, which might be released before year’s end given the film’s brief two-week theatrical run.
In other Jackson news, fans have reportedly flooded the Website selling tickets for the Jermaine Jackson-curated Michael Jackson tribute concert that will be held in Vienna, Austria, on September 26th. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Tribute 2009 website crashed from all the traffic when tickets went on sale, with a million people visiting the site with the hope of getting tickets. The “all-star lineup” for the Tribute 2009 concert hasn’t even been announced yet, but already the 85,000 tickets for the tribute are on sale with prices ranging from $85 to $712. Jermaine Jackson said he’ll announce the tribute concert’s lineup in the coming weeks.
• Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” Coming To Theaters October 30th
• Report: Columbia Pictures Scores Jackson Rehearsal Footage
• Studios Scramble to Bring Jackson “This Is It” Rehearsals to Theaters