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Notes from a Darkened Theater: The Return of Michael Jackson, a New Trailer from Michael Moore

Sony Pictures announced yesterday that Michael Jackson’s This Is It would be released exclusively for a limited two-week engagement worldwide on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Tickets will go on sale in San Francisco beginning Sunday, Sept. 27.

Separately, the film’s producers have announced that Kenny Ortega has been tapped to direct.  The Emmy Award-winning director was previously responsible for visualizing Disney’s High School Musical movies, as well as directing the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. He will begin work on the long-rumored remake of Footloose this fall.

This Is It is said to offer Jackson’s fans a surprisingly intimate look at the performer as he developed and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in London’s O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from April to June 2009, the film is drawn from more than 100 hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show.

“This film is Michael’s gift to his fans,” says Ortega, who served as the King of Pop’s creative partner on the Dangerous and HIStory tours. “As we began assembling the footage for the motion picture, we realized we captured something extraordinary, unique and very special. It’s a very private, exclusive look into a creative genius’s world. For the first time ever, fans will see Michael as they have never seen him before – this great artist at work.

“It is raw, emotional, moving and powerful footage that captures his interactions with the This Is It collaborators that he had personally assembled for this once-in-a-lifetime project. … [The “This Is It” concert] may go down as the greatest concert that no one got a chance to see, but with this film, we get a rare portrait of Michael as he prepares for his final curtain call and what I believe was going to be his masterwork.”

For more information about This Is It, click here.

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