Sources have confirmed to Billboard that a deal between the Michael Jackson Estate, AEG Live and Sony for a theatrical release of the Michael Jackson rehearsal footage from the ill-fated This Is It concerts could close today, though there are still some "unsettled terms" that are being negotiated. In fact, the deal is in such flux that it could shift to another studio by the end of the day. According to the source, Sony Music may co-invest with one of the film studios on this release, including Sony Pictures.
The source also says that Michael Jackson's father Joe Jackson's efforts in conjunction with promoter Leonard Rowe have "muddied the waters" in the Michael Jackson Estate and AEG's attempt to close a TV network deal for the presentation of the original This Is It production, created by Jackson and Kenny Ortega.
The This Is It special has been conceived as a tribute to MJ featuring Janet, the Jackson 5, and other major performers. The source says Joe Jackson has been shopping his own Jackson Family special on MJ's birthday on Aug. 29, which neither Janet Jackson nor the Jackson brothers have agreed to.