Michael Jackson fans, get ready. The King of Pop is slated to return to television via Spike Lee’s new documentary next month.
Digital Trends reports that Spike Lee’s documentary about Jackson, entitled Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, will appear on Showtime, on February 5. The documentary provides an in-depth exploration of the making of Jackson’s fifth studio album, Off the Wall, released in 1979.
The documentary not only includes rare footage, but also interviews with numerous celebrity fans and admirers, including Kobe Bryant, Pharrell, The Weeknd, John Legend, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, and more. Even Jackson’s parents, Joe and Kathryn Jackson, make an appearance in the documentary. A public statement was released about the new film and stated the following.
“A look at a chapter of his career that is rarely examined, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall allows audiences to travel with Michael as he gets his start at Motown, strikes a new path with CBS Records and forges a relationship with legendary producer Quincy Jones.”
In addition to the documentary, Jackson’s Off the Wall album will be re-released. Rolling Stone stated that the Jackson estate created a special reissue of the album, which will also include Lee’s documentary. The package will be available on February 26, on CD/DVD and CD/Blu Ray. The Off the Wall album was a huge success, ranking 68 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and No. 44 on Entertainment Weekly’s Music: All-Time Greatest, in 2012.
Prior to airing on Showtime, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall will make its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24.
During a 2012 interview that aired on CNN, Lee expressed his gratitude for Jackson and how the superstar brought the world together through music. He also indicated that he’s disappointed at so much negativity that was aimed at The King of Pop.
“Well, number one: I think we learned once again that life is very fleeting and that you can’t take it for granted. Michael was a world artist. He was beloved by the world. And I’m just happy to speak to you, because I’m here in France and I’ve been watching, you know, CNN International and Sky Channel, BBC, and I’m real dismayed by the negative slant where people are, the media, they’re, you know, they’re, I think there’s a more gracious way to tell about his life without talking about the other.”
Lee’s documentary, of course, isn’t the first film about Jackson. In fact, this is Lee’s second film on The King of Pop. His first documentary, Bad 25, released in 2012, is a film that looks back on the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s 1989 Bad album. Another documentary, which aired on 60 Minutes in 2013, revealed the financial side of Jackson’s life and what the superstar left behind.
John Branca, an entertainment lawyer for Jackson’s estate, appears in the special, where he revealed that with Jackson’s Cirque du Soleil, which doesn’t feature the late Jackson (although the show is about him), has sold over $300,00 million in tickets.
“Worldwide box office now is over $300 million. And Michael has almost 60 million Facebook friends. He’s the biggest selling artist on iTunes and he’s sold approximately 50 million albums since he passed away.”
Lee’s documentary, on the other hand, focuses more on an underrated part of Jackson’s career. Along with placing clips of some of the most talented artists and celebrities together, the film features archival footage of The King of Pop himself.
Michael Jackson completed the Off the Wall album at just 20-years-old. The album features some of Jackson’s most memorable and iconic tracks, including “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Rock With You,” blending R&B and pop music together in a way that appealed to the masses and earned Michael Jackson his first Grammy.
[Photo Courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images]