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Nederlander will produce Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' musical

January 26, 2009 | 12:25 pm


The Nederlander Organization has acquired the rights to produce a musical version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," the organization announced today.

According to the announcement, the musical -- based on the horror-spoof "Thriller" video -- will be "the exclusive Michael Jackson authorized version of 'Thriller' " and the Gloved One will be involved in "every aspect of the creative process."

(So don't confuse it with "Thriller -- Live," a hit-laden Jackson tribute that opened earlier this month on London's West End, or that YouTube video of the inmates in the Philippines, or the participatory Thrill the World re-creation that came to Hollywood & Highland in October.)

The musical will include songs from the 1982 "Thriller" album as well as Jackson's 1979 album "Off the Wall."

The groundbreaking "Thriller" video is considered the most successful music video of all time and cost $800,000 to produce. The 14-minute opus, complete with a chorus of dancing zombies, tells the story of a young couple who are out on a date when the young man, played by Jackson, turns into a werewolf.

-- Diane Haithman

Photo: Jackson stars in the "Thriller" video. Credit: MJJ Productions