Producers Hope Michael Jackson's "This is It" Will Clear His Name

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Sep. 25 2009, Published 6:02 a.m. ET

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Michael Jackson’s movie “This is It” may help AEG, the company that financed his tour, be viewed in a better light after his death and show fans that they cared about Michael’s health, according to Associated Press.

"I think we still are hurt," Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, said. "Some of the things that people have said about us, which are so untrue, this movie's going to restore his legacy, and prove that we, in fact, gave Michael a second chance here. And an opportunity to make the kind of comeback he was dreaming of. And that we created an environment for him that was probably the best environment that the guy had the last 10 or 15 years of his life. And I'm very proud of the way we treated Michael, and very proud of the partnership that we had with him. And this movie is an opportunity to celebrate that, and we could get past all of the gossip and all of the innuendo."

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Thursday afternoon marked the opening of advance ticket sales to “Michael Jackson’s ‘This is It’” concert documentary directed by Kenny Ortega. Fans waited in line two-and-a-half days for tickets and a press conference held in the plaza across from the Staples Center where Jackson’s rehearsals were held.

Leiweke reunited with the singers, dancers, and musicians from the tour during the conference and remembered the moment he heard of Michael’s death. "Well, at first it lets all the air out of you, and you sit here and you're stunned at how quickly it happened and occurred. You're in denial. You can't believe it. You're looking around, saying, 'What happened?"

Michael Jackson

Singer Darryl Phinnessee said, "It's mixed feelings, first of all, to see these guys again, and to be in this space. You know, we finished rehearsing at quarter to midnight the night before Michael died, and he was energetic and up and doing his thing, as you'll see in the movie."

The film was made from hundreds of hours of rehearsal footage including right up to hours before Michael’s death.

"You see the music, the studios, the rehearsals, the dancers, the auditions, the costumes," Leiweke said. "You see all of the behind-the-scenes, and then you finally see the last few days of the dress rehearsals, and you begin to see the genius of Michael: the dancing, the singing, the choreography, and his concept of creating a one-time performance that no one would ever forget."

“This is It” opens in theaters worldwide Oct. 28.


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