LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson’s posthumous movie “This Is It” has sparked a huge amount of speculation over what will be in it and the reasons for making it, but one thing is certain if the late pop star himself is to be believed -- God had a hand in its production.
Entertainment Weekly magazine on Thursday revealed details about the making of the film, saying the series of planned London concerts on which it is based featured 22 different stage sets, aerial dancing and magic. Jackson even wanted a reproduction of the world’s largest waterfall, the Victoria Falls in Africa, before producers balked.
“God channels this through me at night. I can’t sleep because I‘m so supercharged,” the 50-year-old “Thriller” singer told his director, Kenny Ortega.
Ortega asked: “Can’t God take a vacation?”
“You don’t understand -- if I‘m not there to receive these ideas, God might give them to Prince,” Jackson answered, referring to the rival pop star.
Jackson died in June of a prescription drug overdose before the London concerts hit the stage. His estate’s administrators, concert promoter AEG Live and movie studio Sony Pictures Entertainment agreed to use video footage of the shows’ rehearsals to make the movie.
The film, which is part concert film and part documentary of his last days, hits theaters worldwide on October 28 for a two-week run.
When Jackson died, he was reported to be as much as $400 million in debt and his Neverland Ranch had been sold, leading to reports he needed to perform solely for the money. But AEG Live president Randy Phillips told Entertainment Weekly that Jackson was doing it for his three children.
“I asked him, ‘why now?'. He said ‘Because I’ve spent 12 and a half years bringing my kids up, and now they’re old enough to appreciate what I do -- and I‘m still young enough to do it,'” Phillips said.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Belinda Goldsmith