Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

STARRING Michael Jackson
DIRECTED BY Kenny Ortega

In life, Michael Jackson was always a hot ticket. Even the late-career concerts he had been scheduled to perform in London starting July 8 had sold out — all 50 of them. Now, following the King of Pop’s tragic death on June 25, fans are clamoring to see some of the hundreds of hours of rehearsal footage shot in L.A. in the weeks before he collapsed. They’ll get their wish. Less than three weeks after Jackson’s death, top Sony executives huddled to watch nearly 45 minutes of rehearsal video — then paid $60 million for the rights to produce a posthumous concert film. ”It was jaw-dropping,” says Sony vice chairman Jeff Blake. ”It was as if you were at the concert. He looked amazing, and the performances were absolutely to his highest standard.” Concert director Kenny Ortega is scrambling to assemble a feature-length film, which will include 18 to 20 dance numbers as well as candid moments Jackson shared with his dancers and various friends who stopped by rehearsals. The studio is also working out technical details to try to include some of the ambitious 3-D vignettes Jackson hoped to project on screens during the shows, including one set to ”Thriller.” Concertgoers were going to receive 3-D glasses. No word yet if moviegoers will, but either way, fans are in for an intimate experience.