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The director of Michael Jackson’s upcoming documentary “This is It” says the singer was “excited” about his scheduled 50-date concert run in London for which he was rehearsing just before his sudden death in June.
“He was excited, looking forward to (it), happy, pleased with what we had accomplished up until that moment and looking forward to finishing up the rehearsals in Los Angeles and moving on to London,” Kenny Ortega told Reuters in an interview Tuesday.
“Those last few nights of rehearsals it seemed like he’d gone into another gear, and everyone really believed that we were about to embark on something that was going to be rather remarkable,” Ortega said.
“This is It,” a feature-length film built around footage of those final Los Angeles rehearsals, hits theatres around the world on Oct. 28 and looks set to be one of the biggest movies of the year.
Jackson died of a prescription drug overdose, and his death triggered speculation about his physical state at the time and what drugs he may have taken.
Asked whether Jackson had shown any signs of dependency on drugs, Ortega replied: “No.”
According to Ortega, who had been working with Jackson on staging and choreographing of the “This Is It” concerts, the sellout shows were seen by the singer as his swansong.
“This was it, this was his final curtain call. I think that what Michael wanted to do was to retire from performance and focus on film making and other things. He had said to me before in confidence that he didn’t intend to be out there in the world performing for much longer, so this opportunity came along where he thought that he was young enough to be able to do what it was that he loved, he wanted to share it with his children … to do it for the fans.”