Michael Jackson’s Most Important Music Is Getting A Documentary

By Britta DeVore | Published

Fans of the King of Pop will have a new way to celebrate the icon’s legacy as American Songwriter reveals that a documentary centered around Michael Jackson’s album, Thriller is on the way. Peeling back the layers behind hit songs including “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” “Billie Jean,” and, of course, “Thriller,” the film will give audiences an immersive look at never-before-seen footage from the making of the album’s music videos.

A trailer released alongside the news offers just a piece of what’s to come when the documentary, Thriller 40, arrives on Showtime on December 2 at 8 p.m. EST with Showtime subscribers also able to stream it on Paramount+.

Featuring more ‘80s outfits, dance moves, and attitude than you can handle, the trailer shows off the industry and culture-changing songs and moments made famous by Michael Jackson’s biggest album. While, sadly, Michael Jackson passed away in 2009, plenty of others close to the musical icon gathered to share their memories of the star and how he left his stamp on the craft.

Fellow performers, including Usher, Mark Ronson, will.i.am, Mary J. Blige, and more open up about the life-altering influence the album had on them, while others from the music business celebrate the dynamic title and the artist behind it.

The trailer also includes memories from John Landis, the director behind the “Thriller” video, as he shares what it was like being part of such an important piece of pop-culture history. And then there are others like Misty Copeland, a professional ballet dancer who worked alongside Michael Jackson, a man who she refers to as “a perfectionist.” Also joining the conversation are some of Jackson’s backup singers including Oren Waters, who offers a comical story about his time in the studio recording Thriller.

While Michael Jackson would go on to record hit after hit and nab award upon award, Thriller was undoubtedly the album of his career. With so many recognizable tunes packed into one record, it’s a must-have piece for any audiophile’s collection. Beyond the man and the divisiveness that his name brings, the folks involved in Thriller 40 dig into the impact that the album had at the time and the shockwaves that continue to ripple from it four decades later.

Along with Thriller 40, fans of Michael Jackson will have another chance to moonwalk through his life as Training Day and The Equalizer franchise helmer Antoine Fuqua is working on a biopic based around the singer’s life. Pairing with Universal and Lionsgate, Fuqua cast Jackson’s real-life nephew, Jaafar Jackson to play his late uncle in the feature. Other big names attached to the project include The Aviator and Gladiator scribe John Logan, who will pen the production, and Bohemian Rhapsody’s Graham King as a producer.

While the untitled biopic will be a dramatized telling of the later performer’s life, for those who want a more behind-the-scenes look into the creation of Michael Jackson’s biggest contribution to pop music, Thriller 40 arrives in just two weeks on Showtime. Check out the trailer at the top and get your dance moves ready for the documentary’s arrival.