John Landis, who directed the 1983 short, is at work on the project following the end of a dispute with Jackson’s estate
Michael Jackson will soon be scaring fans from beyond the grave with the release of his iconic 14-minute 1983 film “Thriller” — in 3-D!
The video’s original director, John Landis, is helming the project now that a dispute with the singer’s estate has been put to rest.
The revamped short film/music video is expected out next year. There’s even discussion of its running in theaters, as well as on Blu-ray and promotional outlets yet to be decided.
“That lawsuit went on for so many years, (but) we settled and they paid me finally,” Landis said of the legal dispute. “And so, actually there is something happening with ‘Thriller.’ ”
Landis tells us: “It is going to reappear in a highly polished and three-dimensional way that is very exciting on the big screen.”
Pressed on what fans can expect to see, Landis showed his scary side.
“I cannot tell you any more,” he joked. “I might have to kill you.”
A source close to the Jackson family confirms that “John has been secretly working away on this for several months now.
“The iconic video has never been released on Blu-ray or seen in cinemas and 3-D, and that was always a vision Michael had. In fact, his ‘This Is It’ London show was meant to feature a segment which included a 3-D performance.”
We’re told there’s no end to where the “Thriller” concept can go from here.
“The estate has been looking at gaming ideas, too, and ‘Thriller’ fits into the genre,” says our insider. “It could a be a dance experience or a zombie-style,shoot-’ em-up-style movie. There are so many possibilities with this creative masterpiece.”
Official paperwork from the Jackson estate — run by lawyers John Branca and John McClain — revealed that they’re working on ventures including “multiple albums,” “Internet games” and “film, documentary and a Broadway play about Michael.”
The reported $500,000 budget for “Thriller” was more than 10 times the cost of the average video in 1983. Producers were able to justify Jackson’s risky vanity project thanks to the success of the “Thriller” album’s hit songs, which also included ““Billie Jean,” “Beat It” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”
In 2009, the “Thriller” video was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library Of Congress — the first music video to receive the honor, which recognizes works that are “culturally, historically or esthetically” significant.
Landis was honored last week at the Eyegore Awards at Universal Hollywood Theme Park in L.A. His horror movie résumé also includes “An American Werewolf in London” and “Twilight Zone: The Movie.”