I told you right after Michael Jackson died that AEG Live had 100 hours of rehearsal footage on film. I also told you that they had enough music for 2 live CDs. Some people are just reporting this now. Better late than never.

Randy Phillips of AEG Live was described in another column yesterday as being “ghoulish” about all this. Far from it: the film Phillips and Kenny Ortega are racing to put together could mean $100 million for the Jackson estate, meaning Michael’s kids. That’s a gift of foresight.

Phillips says the footage ‘ which was shown last week to Paramount, Sony, Universal and Fox ‘ “will show everyone what good shape he was in. He’s in all the decision-making about how the show is being put together. No one will be able to say he was out of it.

“From the beginning, we knew he’d had two incredible rehearsals back to back right before he died. The film will show all the auditions leading up to those shows, including the ones with dancers and musicians. Ironically, it’s the movie Michael always dreamt of making but could never get together.”

Phillips says everyone’s working overtime getting the final presentation in order. He did not tell me this, but I do expect that for Christmas we will have this film, a companion CD soundtrack from Sony, and a box set of CDs as well.

And: just so Michael’s fans know, the August 29th date in London is still on hold. A decision will be made soon whether to go ahead with it. Phillips says it requires transporting much of the production from Los Angeles ‘ ‘and just for one night.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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