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.

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