Page last updated at 10:10 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 11:10 UK

Jackson concert film in the works

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Some footage of Jackson's tour preparations has already been released. Clip courtesy of AEG Live

A film based on Michael Jackson's final tour rehearsals could be on the way, after a deal between promoters AEG Live and Columbia Pictures.

According to court documents filed in Los Angeles, the film company has paid $60m (£35m) for rights to the footage.

But the deal needs approval from a US judge at a hearing on 10 August.

Nearly 100 hours of film were shot while Jackson prepared his This Is It shows, which were due to take place at London's O2 arena.

The star died suddenly on 25 June, just weeks before the first of his 50 comeback shows was due to take place.

October deadline

The film deal was negotiated by two men who are administering Jackson's estate, lawyer John Branca and music executive John McClain, who helped to launch Janet Jackson's pop career in the 1980s.

Michael Jackson
The series of 50 concerts was due to begin in London on 13 July

Court papers suggest that Jackson's estate and AEG Live will share any profits, with the estate getting 90% and the remainder going to the promoters.

If it is approved, the movie will have to meet the standards for a PG rating and not run any longer than 150 minutes, the contract states.

Footage that paints Jackson in a bad light will not be permitted, it adds.

Rehearsals

Although no release date is divulged, the contract stipulates that Columbia - a division of Sony - must screen the movie for Jackson's representatives no later than 2 October, suggesting the producers are aiming for a Christmas release.

AEG Live released a short clip of the star's penultimate rehearsal at Los Angeles' Staples Center last month.

The footage featured a segment of the song They Don't Care About Us and appeared to show Jackson in good health as he performed an intricate dance routine.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Miami Herald Jackson show insurance excluded 'illicit' drug use - 51 mins ago
CNN Jermaine Jackson on Michael's death - 7 hrs ago
Boston Globe Judge approves Jackson collectors' items - 7 hrs ago



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