Red carpet rolls out for Jackson's "This Is It"

Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:28pm EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After months of industry hype, Hollywood on Tuesday rolls out the red carpet for Michael Jackson movie "This Is It" showing the final performance of the fallen King of Pop.

Culled from 80 hours of videotape taken of the pop star's final days of rehearsals for a series of London concerts in July also titled "This Is It," director Kenny Ortega has called the film "a story of a master of his craft."

Jackson, who grew up as one of Motown legends The Jackson 5 and still has the highest selling album of all-time with 1982's solo effort "Thriller," died suddenly on June 25 in Los Angeles after suffering cardiac arrest at age 50.

Officials have since ruled that his heart stopped due to an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol, which is utilized in surgery, as well as the sedative lorazepam, often used to treat anxiety and sold under brands of Ativan and Temesta.

But "This Is It" was never meant to delve into the details of his death, which could result in criminal charges being filed against his doctors.

"It's a privileged path to observe Michael as the creative architect and mastermind behind his work," Ortega told Reuters. He called it "raw" and "unguarded" and said "it's a unique behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of putting a show together," referring to the "This Is It" concerts.


The shows, 50 of them planned for London's 02 arena, had been dubbed Jacksons' "comeback tour" by the media after the superstar had left the stage in the 2000s.   Continued...

<p>A scene from the Michael Jackson documentary "This Is It". REUTERS/Sony Pictures/Handout</p>