Michael Jackson's This Is It to hit cinemas
Aug 11, 2009, 14:31 GMT
Michael Jackson's final ever 'concert' is being released as a "gift to his millions of fans".
Sony Pictures Entertainment has confirmed it will piece together highlights from hours of footage of the late pop legend rehearsing for his sold-out 'This Is It' London concerts.
The hotly-anticipated film - which shares its name with the never-performed shows - will feature 3D segments, behind-the-scenes footage and a host of classic songs Jackson was perfecting leading up to his sudden death on June 25.
Music executive John McClain - who along with Jackson's long-time attorney John Branca was named as an executor of his estate in his will - said: "This film is not only a tribute to an artist who created excitement every moment he was on stage, but also is a fitting gift to the millions of fans worldwide who loved him and who he devoted his professional life to entertaining."
Kenny Ortega, who was creative director for the 'This Is It' shows, is delighted the world will get to see Jackson's vision for the residency.
Ortega said: "Everyone 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. The footage that was captured from the early stages of the production to our technical rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles will show Michael as he truly was, creatively involved with every aspect of the production.
"It will also show Michael as one of the greatest entertainers in the world. The footage will show that he was on his way to another theatrical triumph."
A percentage of the proceeds will go directly to Jackson's estate for the benefit of the Michael Jackson Family Trust.
Branca said: "Our goal is to work with partners who treat Michael's legacy with dignity and respect, while allowing us to substantially build the value of his estate for the benefit of Mrs. Katherine Jackson, Michael's three children and the charitable causes that meant so much to him during his life."
The 'Billie Jean' singer's mother Katherine has been granted full custody of her son's children - Prince Michael I, 12, and Paris, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II, also known as 'Blanket'.
Sony Pictures reportedly paid £36 million for the rights to the exclusive rehearsal footage from AEG Live and the movie will hit cinemas worldwide on October 28.