Today's Date in the 80's
Date: 02-Oct-2011

Jackson planned world tour, 'Thriller' film

Michael Jackson hoped to take his ill-fated "This is It" London show around the world, and then to make movies including a film version of "Thriller," the show's director testified Tuesday.
Kenny Ortega, the first witness at the trial of Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray, said the pop icon was in good form in the last couple of days before his 2009 death, although he had been frail during the previous week.

Videos were played to the court of Jackson rehearsing "The Way you make Me Feel" and "Earth Song" -- his last before he died on June 25, 2009, months before he was due to take the show to London's O2 Arena.

"Michael hoped that after the London dates that he would be able to take 'This is It' out into the world, perhaps even into the United States, and after that, to make movies," said Ortega.

The two men discussed collaborating as a co-director on movies, he told the court.

"He invited me to join him as a co-director to do (a) full-length feature film of 'Thriller' video," as well as one based on his "Smooth Criminal" single, from the 1987 album "Bad."

Earlier Ortega recalled being concerned at Jackson's physical and mental condition a week or more before his death -- specifically when he was repeatedly absent over a period of about a week.

On June 20 -- five days before Jackson's death -- he voiced "deep concern" in an email about Jackson's health, leading to a confrontation with Murray, who told Ortega not to interfere.

But then Jackson appeared rejuvenated on June 23 and 24 -- the day before his death. "He entered into rehearsal full of energy, full of desire to work... it was a different Michael," said Ortega.

He was a "full participant in both rehearsals and other areas of production," he said.


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