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Preview of Jackson documentary premieres Sunday

  • Story Highlights
  • Star's sister Janet will help open MTV awards show, in celebration of his life
  • Fans can also preview documentary online
  • Film will be shown worldwide for two weeks starting in October
By Alan Duke
CNN
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Michael Jackson fans will get their first peek at the behind-the-scenes documentary of the pop star's final three months Sunday evening during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, MTV said.

Michael Jackson died in June at the age of 50, amid preparations for his This Is It tour.

Michael Jackson died in June at the age of 50, amid preparations for his This Is It tour.

Janet Jackson "will help open the entire show to honor Michael's celebrated career," the network said. No other details about her "special appearance" were released.

The debut of the trailer for "Michael Jackson's This Is It" will come about four weeks after concert promoter AEG Live handed over to Sony Pictures about 100 hours of video captured between April and June, when Jackson was preparing for his concert comeback.

Fans who miss the MTV show, which will air live at 9 p.m. ET Sunday, can preview the documentary at www.thisisit-movie.com beginning Sunday night, the network said.

The trailer makes its big screen debut September 18 with the Sony Pictures Animation release of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

The Jackson documentary will run in theaters worldwide for just two weeks starting October 28, Sony Pictures said. Tickets will go on sale September 27.

"Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect and genius as he creates and perfects his final show," Sony said.

Kenny Ortega, who was working with Jackson to create the This Is It concert, is also directing the documentary.

"As we began assembling the footage for the motion picture, we realized we captured something extraordinary, unique and very special," Ortega said. "It's a very private, exclusive look into a creative genius's world."

Ortega said Jackson's This Is It "may go down as the greatest concert that no one got a chance to see," as the pop singer died June 25, three weeks before it was to debut in London, England's O2 Arena. "But with this film, we get a rare portrait of Michael as he prepares for his final curtain call and what I believe was going to be his master work." Video Watch Jermaine Jackson talk about tributes to his brother »

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A Los Angeles Superior Court judge last month approved allowing the special administrators of Jackson's estate to sign a contract with Sony and AEG Live to clear the way for the production.

AEG Live also will conduct a three-city tour of a Michael Jackson memorabilia exhibition to coincide with the film's release. The cities have not been named.

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