Sony has won the bidding war for rehearsal footage of the late Michael Jackson, who passed away last month. What they plan to do with this footage is apparently make a concert film, which will include performances culled from the 80 hours, plus a special video for “Thriller” that may, or may not, be in 3D. The project could be in cinemas by the end of the year for a sure fire cash-in.

This is all according to Variety‘s report on the matter, which suggests Sony winning out was mainly due to them having the rights to Jackson’s catalog. Didn’t stop them having to pay $50 million to AEG Entertainment though, who are doing their damndest to make back the money they lost betting that MJ could manage a 50 night tour. A director is in place, mostly due to his having shot the previously mentioned 80 hours, and it’s High School Musical supremo Kenny Ortega. Here’s where I make the requisite joke about him having made the HSM cast sing well, so Jacko’s corpse shouldn’t be a problem. I had to make it, but I still feel dirty now.

My feelings are that this is a cash grab in a time where Mike’s name buys a lot of cred (and T-shirts) in this current climate, and that it’s still a big gamble as we don’t have the full details of his death. When I say ‘we,’ I mean that TMZ hasn’t bought the full details of his death yet. I do think that it could be intriguing, in a kind of weird way, it’s just hard to tell how the Jackson legacy will be seen in hindsight. A lot of people are bogged down with the current ideal of St. Michael, which everyone must know is simply not true. Hopefully Sony can get this out while the feelings still good and maybe they could even do a sing-a-long version like Mamma Mia and get twice the money from fans!

What do you think? Cash grab or fitting memorial?

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