Michael Jackson concert film in October
NEW YORK: A Michael Jackson movie featuring footage from the late singer''s rehearsals for his farewell London concerts is to be released in October, it has been announced.
This Is It will be made by High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was Jackson''s creative partner for the ill-fated London shows.
News emerged as organisers of next month''s Vienna tribute concert said Jermaine Jackson was assembling a line-up featuring some of "the biggest artists of our time" rumoured to include Madonna, U2, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston.
Sony Pictures is thought to have paid in the region of £30 million to AEG Live, Jackson''s concert promoters, for the rights to the backstage footage, filmed largely in June at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles and The Forum in Inglewood, California.
The film will draw on hundreds of hours of rehearsals and behind-the-scenes material shot as Jackson prepared for the farewell series of 50 gigs which was cancelled when he died last month aged 50.
Meanwhile, organisers unveiled plans for next month''s tribute concert to Michael Jackson in Austria.
The show, on the grounds of a 17th century palace in Vienna, will feature a three-hour, star-studded show to be televised live to a global audience of one billion people, according to the event''s promoter.
Georg Kindel, of World Awards Media GmbH, said negotiations are ongoing with networks over broadcasting rights and the pop legend''s brother Jermaine is assembling the line-up of about 10 "of the biggest artists of our time".
"Jermaine thinks maybe one billion people will watch the television show," said Mr Kindel. "It will be a very special evening for the millions of fans around the globe."
He would not divulge the cast, although he hinted strongly that Madonna would be among the artists performing 15-20 Jackson hits on a crown-shaped outdoor stage in front of Schoenbrunn Palace. Austrian media has reported that U2, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston may also perform.
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