And so the Michael Jackson comeback begins...on Broadway.
Finally making good on years of promises about his showbiz return, the erstwhile King of Pop today announced that he is working on a stage musical based on his 1982 masterpiece, Thriller, with the theatrical overlords in the Nederlander Organization.
"The Nederlanders and Michael Jackson represent live theater and musical excellence, so the let music begin," said Jackson's rep, Dr. Tohme Tohme.
The Moonwalker plans to oversee "every aspect of the creative process," and will provide songs from Thriller (including the title cut, "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and "P.Y.T.") as well as tracks from his 1979 multiplatinum solo smash, Off The Wall, which featured "Rock With You," "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "She's Out of My Life."
The plot will presumably follow that of his groundbreaking 14-minute "Thriller" video. Directed by John Landis (Animal House, An American Werewolf in London), the horror-spoofing story focused on Jackson and his date chased by some booty-shaking zombies.
"I love the idea of making Thriller a musical. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy has big secret," quipped producer James L. Nederlander, whose company runs nine Broadway theaters.
Last month, Thome shot down reports that the 50-year-old entertainer was battling a life-threatening lung condition. Instead, the rep insisted, Jackson had all kinds of big plans for 2009.
"Mr. Jackson is in fine health, and finalizing negotiations with a major entertainment company and television network for both a world tour and a series of specials and appearances," said Tohme.
No word yet when Thriller the Musical will make its debut on the Great White Way.