Music

Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Is Getting A 40th Anniversary Documentary

Sony Music and the estate of Michael Jackson have teamed up for a documentary to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Thriller.

Michael Jackson‘s 1982 classic Thriller is getting the documentary treatment. A collaboration between Sony Music Entertainment and Jackson’s estate, the documentary will focus on the legendary pop album and its accompanying short films that impacted the traditional music video format. Journalist and music historian Nelson George (who also published an unauthorized biography on the singer, The Michael Jackson Story, in 1983) will serve as the doc’s director.

The upcoming documentary will feature never-before-seen footage and interviews about Thriller, focusing on Jackson becoming a global superstar. On November 18, a double album titled Thriller 40 will also be released, including a bonus disc of songs that Jackson recorded for the original album that didn’t make the final cut.

“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.”

“Michael opened and explored emotional depths and pushed the boundaries of sonic innovation on Thriller,” John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Michael Jackson estate, said. “In the process, he breached destructive barriers in the music industry and literally united the world through his music: there isn’t a place on this planet that hasn’t been exhilarated by the music of Michael Jackson. This documentary’s exploration of Michael’s process and impact is revelatory.”

Released on November 30, 1982, Thriller went on to win eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and became the number-one best-selling album of all-time. Since its release, Thriller has sold 100 million copies worldwide, the first album to be certified triple diamond by the RIAA.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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