Thriller, alongside Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, is commonly considered to be one of the greatest music videos to grace our televisions, and in 2009 rightfully earning an induction into the National Film Registry.
Originally released in 1983, and available until the 1990 on VHS, original director John Landis has now transformed the epic short film in 3D.
Landis spoke to Billboard describing the new project, saying:
“All of the copies of Thriller out there now are duped and it used to drive me crazy. I’d been trying to get to the negative for a long time as the new digital technologies are amazing at restoring films. And Michael and I always intended for people to see Thriller in a movie theater.
“But we didn’t just restore Thriller. We enhanced it … like in that scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and the others are being buffed and polished inside Emerald City.”
However, Mr Landis refused to reveal the peculiar details of how 3D is utilised and teased further by saying “takes advantage of 3D in a way that’s very effective”.
The co-executors of Michael Jackson’s estate, John Branco and John McClain, added:
“Michael Jackson made Thriller a rich theatrical experience: Fun, funny, scary and wildly entertaining. No one before or since has made anything like it. Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D is a modern day technical enhancement of his and John Landis’ original vision, and I think fans will love it.”
The premiere will also include a showing of the Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller documentary, which was originally aired on MTV and Showtime. However, plans for a commercial release for Thriller 3D past the film festival have yet to be arranged.
The 3D version of the 14-minute short film was originally conceived to be used as a backdrop for MJ’s planned ‘This Is It’ tour. However, shortly before the singer’s death, Landis and the estate became embroiled in a legal battle, lasting five years, over the ownership of the film. So, this has been a long time coming.