Michael Jackson, Documentary, Film News, Music News, News, Decades

Documentary on Making of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' In the Works

You can't have a good Halloween without Michael Jackson's iconic song "Thriller." Just in time for Spooky Season, it's been announced Sony Music Entertainment and the estate of Michael Jackson will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller with an official documentary about the making of the famous record.

Directed by journalist, music historian, and filmmaker Nelson George, the film is currently in production. The doc will focus on the creation of the record-breaking album and the release of the accompanying MTV-friendly short films that redefined the music video format. (The 14-minute long music video for "Thriller" is currently the only music video preserved in the Library of Congress.)

Released in 1982, Thriller was Jackson’s second studio album as a solo artist. It earned 12 Grammy nominations and a record-setting eight wins, including Album of the Year. And it had more hit songs than just "Thriller": the album also garnered seven top 10 singles on the Hot 100 chart, including the No.1 singles “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.” Since its release, Thriller has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and was the first album to be certified triple diamond by the RIAA.

The currently-untitled documentary will feature never-before-seen footage and interviews, showing how the album launched Jackson into mega-stardom. A release date for the film has yet to be announced.

“The release of Thriller redefined Michael Jackson, taking him from teen star to adult superstar, who composed memorable songs, sang beautifully and reached the highest level of on-stage performance,” George said in a statement. “The album, and the short films they inspired, created a new template for marrying music and image. It’s been a privilege to explore this extraordinary album and revisit its magic.”

The new Thriller documentary is the third nonfiction film to focus on a Michael Jackson album. The previous two, Bad 25 and Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, were directed by Spike Lee. The upcoming documentary isn't the only way Jackson's estate is celebrating Thriller's 40th anniversary. Back in May, Sony and Jackson’s estate announced the release of Thriller 40, which includes a bonus disc of never-before-released tracks. You can pre-order your copy ahead of its November 18 release here.

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Article Image: A close-up of the album cover for Michael Jackson's sophomore record, "Thriller." (mobilinchen via DepositPhotos.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey