While most of you were packing up for the holiday weekend, some monster entertainment news broke over at The Hollywood Reporter. The site reported that the estate of Michael Jackson has put the finishing touches on a deal with director John Landis and producer George Folsey Jr. that resolves litigation concerning net profits on the late singer’s “Thriller” video as well as a fight over a previously planned musical theater production of the hit song/video.
On Friday, the estate released a statement to THR indicating that the settlement had become firm: “The Estate of Michael Jackson, John Landis and George Folsey Jr. have reached an amicable settlement of the actions that were pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court relating to the legendary short motion picture Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the documentary “The Making of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”" The settlement terms are confidential.”
Being that “Thriller” is my all-time favorite music video, and maybe even earliest horror inspiration, after reading this news I was completely scaled in goosebumps. I immediately obsessed over one thought: “Does this mean we’ll finally get a proper “Thriller” release?“ The answer? Read on for the scoop…
Upon reading the big news I immediately contacted Mr. Landis, who has always been gracious and forthcoming with Bloody Disgusting. He reveals exclusively to Bloody that he’ll now be working directly with Jackson’s estate on future “Thriller” releases!! Blu-ray anyone?!
“The Estate of Michael Jackson has been dealing with all of Michael’s debts and legal obligations and our complaint has finally been addressed,” Landis stated. “So now all is good and there will be exciting things happening with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” that I will be doing in collaboration with the Estate in the future.“
While I’m out of my mind excited, Landis does imply it’s not going to happen immediately: “Right now all of their [the Jackson Estate] energy and focus is on promoting and celebrating the 25th anniversary of the “Bad” album and I am looking forward to Spike Lee’s documentary that just premiered at the Venice Film Festival about the making of “Bad.”
“Michael Jackson was a brilliant performer and extraordinary star and I feel lucky to have worked with him,” he added. “And I am excited about working with his Estate to celebrate his life and art in the days to come.”
This is major news as Landis reveals that, after all of these years, there will finally be some serious attention given to the greatest video of all time on the greatest album of all time. I expect big things!
I always wonder, and hope that our younger readers love “Thriller” as much as I do. The video was revolutionary, and featured the great Vincent Price. It was the first time a song had been converted into a short film. In the 13-minute-and-43-second “Thriller,” released on December 2, 1983, a night at the movies turns into a nightmare when Michael and his date are attacked by a hoard of bloody-thirsty zombies – only “Thriller” can save them now.
“Thriller” is the best-selling album of all time, and it is estimated to have sold from between 65 to 110 million copies worldwide.