Skip to main content

Spike Lee’s new doc on Showtime explores MJ’s smash LP Off the Wall

Showtime has released the first trailer for Spike Lee’s upcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown to Off The Wall, in preparation for its debut early next month.

The minute-and-a-half long trailer showcases several of music’s biggest names, including artists as diverse as Questlove, The Weeknd, and David Byrne, talking about the tremendous influence that Off The Wall had on music, with vintage shots of Jackson performing cut between views of the interviewees.

Related Videos

But those three big names won’t be the only ones to appear in this Spike Lee joint. The complete list of guests who will appear in the film includes celebrity musicians, actors, and athletes like Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Lee Daniels and Kobe Bryant, as well as Jackson’s parents and members of his extended family.

With its focus sitting primarily on Off The Wall, the pre-Thriller breakout success for the singer that won him his first Grammy award, most of the documentary appears to explore Michael’s transition period — the moment when he transformed from a former member of the The Jackson 5 to an international pop superstar.

And with so many retrospectives thinking about Thriller first and Off The Wall second, it makes sense that Spike Lee would be more interested in the less-hyped — but still massively popular — record of the two. It takes a Thriller-sized album to overshadow Off The Wall which, to date, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. 

With his hit solo project, Jackson became the first solo artist to have four top-10 singles from the same album, including Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, Rock With You, Off The Wall, and She’s Out of My Life. The 1979 release is still considered by many fans of the singer to be his best album, despite being eclipsed in sales and critical acclaim by its follow up.

The new film premiers on Showtime on Friday, February 5 at 9 pm EST, and should be available for streaming shortly thereafter.

Editors' Recommendations

Kevin Hart, T.I. to produce, guest star on Showtime’s upcoming music biz comedy
the studio kevin hart ti showtime get hard and t i

Given the massive mainstream success of Fox's Empire, you just knew that the never-ending quest to create more stories and produce more content would spawn a slew of imitators. So it’s no surprise that Showtime and Lionsgate TV are currently developing a new music-biz-based show. And the network seems to have an interesting angle to explore, and a couple of big names on board to boot.

According to Deadline, comedian Kevin Hart and rapper T.I. (aka, Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.) will executive produce and occasionally guest star in an upcoming comedy called The Studio. The show will reportedly center around the unusual lifestyle led by those in the recording business and the charismatic, often offbeat characters who are drawn to it. In other words, get ready to turn the standard workday on its head with a little 5-to-9 action.

Read more
Twitter to live-stream one-off Showtime Championship Boxing event
twitter showtime boxing stream broner granados

Twitter is set to live-stream its first ever boxing event this Saturday for logged-in and logged-out users.

The social platform will broadcast Showtime Sports’ telecast of its Championship Boxing triple-header, headlined by a welterweight clash between four-division world champion Adrien Broner and Adrian Granados. Additional matches on the night include WBA Welterweight Champion David Avanesyan’s defense of his belt against former two-time champion Lamont Peterson, and Marcus Browne and Thomas Williams in a light heavyweight bout.

Read more
Top filmmakers making ‘deep and three-dimensional’ John Belushi doc for Showtime
showtime john belushi documentary header

The life and times of comic legend John Belushi will be coming to screen, thanks to an upcoming Showtime project. The premium network today announced plans to produce the feature-length documentary, with acclaimed filmmakers R.J. Cutler and John Battsek on board. The film will be the first made with the cooperation of Belushi's widow, Judith Belushi Pisano.

Known for roles in Saturday Night Live and the 1978 film Animal House, as well as being one of The Blues Brothers, Belushi made a name for himself as a comedian, actor, and musician. Sadly, he died young, succumbing to drugs at age 33. Pisano has previously opened up about his life in her 1990 memoir, Samurai Widow, and the 2005 Belushi: A Biography.

Read more