In a story from Variety Sony Pictures is in final talks to put together a feature film about the late Michael Jackson. The film will be culled from 80 hours of rehearsal footage that was filmed for concerts that Jackson was in preparations to perform in London.

Sony will most likely pay about $50 million for the worldwide rights to AEG Entertainment, which presently owns the footage. They showed it to studios last week.

The plan is for the film to showcase "three videos, including an alternative version of Jackson's Thriller, which were shot to be interstitial programming during the London concerts."

It looks like Kenny Ortega (High School Musical 3: Senior Year will be directing the film. He shot the rehearsal footage and he's presently beginning to put the footage together. The plan is for Sony to release the film before 2010.

Fox, Universal, Paramount and Relativity wanted to make the film but Sony eventually won out because Sony Music Entertainment presently owns the publishing rights to Jackson's songs.

AEG will be selling the TV and video rights to the August 29 tribute concert that is scheduled in London on Jackson's birthday.

Evan Jacobs