Home Celebrity Michael Jackson Documentary Makers Get Bad News: No Music Allowed

It’s bad news for anyone who’s got the idea to make an unauthorized Michael Jackson documentary. There won’t be any music in it by Jackson.

Sony Music isn’t clearing any music rights for filmmakers who think they’ve got The Next Big Thing. That includes sleaze digger Ian Halperin, former Jackson partner Marc Schaffel, and Liza Minnelli‘s ex husband, David Gest.

Halperin’s so called documentary, which he sold to the TV Guide Channel of all places (that’s where we all go for serious docs, isn’t it?), airs June 25th– the anniversary of Jackson’s death. But it will free of Michael Jackson’s music, thank you. And full of interviews with people who are on the outer circle of Jackson’s world.

Schaffel, despite a piece yesterday on The Wrap, didn’t actually make a documentary. He sold footage he’d had to a Japanese outfit. They put together a film, just for Japan, and narrated in Japanese. It will play in 200 theaters around Japan starting June 25th, again, without music.

And then there’s David Gest‘s purported film. The word is that Gest’s effort is around four hours long and is mainly interviews with old movie stars–Gest’s forte–about Jackson. Gest may have footage from his old sketchy charity fundraisers at which Jackson occasionally appeared, plus footage from his own wedding to Liza Minnelli. Michael was the best man. It’s unclear if Minnelli would have any say in that footage. But again, no music.

There’s also a fourth film, called “The Untold Story of Neverland,” by Santa Barbara filmmaker Larry Nimmer. It was shown last February at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, but it didn’t get much attention. Nimmer makes courtroom films, and was given access to Neverland during Jackson’s 2005 child molestation trial. (Someone should tell The Wrap, by the way, that the trial was in 2005, not 2004. )

16 replies to this post
  1. @SoCalGal

    If you think John McClain, John Branca, and $ony respected Michael & are doing a “good job” of preserving his legacy & running his estate, you’re even more stupid & gullible than MJ’s detractors.

  2. Halperin’s “documentary” needs to be publicized as fiction.Halperin is not a good journalist,but a tabloid-writer who lacks skills of researching,fact-checking,truth-telling.

  3. This is dumb. Any music they use, they’d have to pay for, which would mean more money for Michael’s estate and Sony.

    Larry Nimmer’s documentary has been out on DVD for years. It’s not new.

  4. bobmoo79, there are only so many hours in a day. How should the principals of Michael’s estate work–24/7 day in and day out? There will be plenty of film treatments of Michael’s life–some well done; some not–but you can rest assured that the executors of Michael’s estate, working closely with Sony, will do their utmost to do right by Michael and his children. Kudos to John Branca, John McClain and everyone at Sony who respects Michael and everything he stood for. It’s about time Michael’s fans stop DEFAMING Sony and everyone involved in preserving and protecting Michael’s personal and professional legacy.

  5. Wow, $ony actually has principles? How bloody shocking. I pray that the media LEAVES MICHAEL ALONE once the circus spectacle trial of Conrad Murray is over. Though it’s probably unlikely. After all. Michael was used as a distraction to the public for over 20 years.

  6. The MJ Estate should have made their own documentary. They could have included some new footage, photos, interviews with real celebrities, and of course included the all important MJ music. It would have sold well all over the world and of course made even more money for MJ’s kids. A missed opportunity.

  7. This is great news thank you for this article Sonny & the Estate did a great job no one shoud be allowed to make money out of Michael’s death especially this tabloid journalist Ian Halperin his book was full of lies & speculation we’re expecting the worst from him.

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