The trailer for the highly anticipated Michael Jackson documentary This Is It debuted at the MTV Video Music Awards.
The film, due for release in October, is made up of footage shot during rehearsals for Jackson's comeback concerts before his death from what authorities call a prescription drug overdose at age 50 in June.
The awards show was full of tributes to the late King of Pop.
The cable channel's awards show began with a tribute to Jackson led by fellow pop star Madonna.
"Most of us had turned our backs on him," Madonna said in a speech at the beginning of the awards that recalled his lost childhood. "He was so unique, so original, so rare and there will never be anyone like him again. He was the king."
Performers dressed like Jackson filled the stage and danced to some of his hit songs including Thriller, Bad and Smooth Criminal.
Janet Jackson then appeared on stage. With the video for her brother's song Scream playing on a screen behind her, she mimicked his dance moves in unison with the video. She did not speak.
Michael Jackson promoted many of his ground-breaking videos on MTV in the 1980s.
Choreographer Kenny Ortega, who worked with Jackson throughout his career, directed This Is It and called the documentary "raw, emotional, moving and powerful".
"Fans will see Michael as they have never seen him before - this great artist at work," Ortega said in a statement.
Following his death, AEG Live and co-executors of Jackson's estate reached a deal with Sony to make and release the movie.
The studio said Ortega had more than 100 hours of footage and the movie would offer Jackson fans "a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer".
This Is It is due for release in theatres on October 28, and will screen for a short two-week run.
Watch the trailer below.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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