It was announced in January that The Nederlander Organization would be creating a Broadway show based on Michael Jackson’s famous music video, “Thriller.” However, due to the singer’s untimely death, the future of the musical is now unclear.
When The Nederlander Organization obtained the rights to produce the show, they stated that Jackson would be heavily involved in the creative process, and would feature songs from his albums “Thriller” and “Off the Wall.” But the musical was still in its infancy at the time of Jackson’s death, as no cast or creative team was even announced. Therefore, organizers are now unsure as to whether they should move forward.
“We just don’t know what’s going to happen, and that’s all we’re saying for now,” a spokesman for The Nederlander Organization told the Los Angeles Times. “Plans for the future are forthcoming, and we may know more in the next week of two. All we’re saying for now is that we’re mourning the death of Michael Jackson.”
The power of “Thriller,” the greatest-selling pop album of all time, has continued to loom large among fans, and has grown even more since Jackson’s death. Spontaneous celebrations of the music have occurred all over the world, from a Philippines prison rendition of video’s signature dance moves, to fans singing and dancing in the street in London in front of the Lyric Theatre which showcases a song-and-dance tribute to the album.
At the time of the original announcement of the collaboration, the Jackson camp appeared to be thrilled at the prospect. “The Nederlanders and Michael Jackson represent live theater and musical excellence, so let the music begin,” said a spokesperson last January.
When “Thriller” first aired in 1983, it became an instant phenomenon. Featuring dialogue and choreography, it was a 14 minute epic that was more like a movie than a music video. “Thriller” also revolutionized the concept of music videos and catapulted MTV onto the national scene.