The author behind “Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson” is tackling the King of Pop’s last days for the bigscreen.
Author-filmmaker Ian Halperin is behind “Gone Too Soon,” an 88-minute documentary about Jackson that is culled from 300 hours of footage shot inside the singer’s camp.
Shine Intl., which holds global distribution rights to the doc, will unveil “Gone Too Soon” at next month’s Mip TV confab in Cannes. Pic is set for a theatrical run in Canada and France, via Transit Medias, on June 25 — the first anniversary of Jackson’s death.
Halperin wrote “Unmasked,” which hit No. 1 last year on the New York Times’ bestsellers list, after spending five years investigating Jackson.
Footage in “Gone Too Soon” includes video and audio of Jackson shot before his death. It also includes interviews with Jackson’s personal manager, chef, spiritual adviser, hairstylist, trainer, protective agent and attorney.
According to the filmmakers, Jackson family members were not involved but are aware of the film. Family attorney Brian Oxman is among the interviewees.
Despite its depiction of the more scandalous aspects of Jackson’s life, Halperin called the movie “a balanced tribute to the King of Pop.”
“This is the film Michael and his fans deserve,” Halperin said.
Shine Intl. president Chris Grant said the doc would “eventually be known as a really important piece of the Michael Jackson saga.”
“Ian’s done an incredible job telling the story of what actually happened to Michael,” Grant said. “We’ve teased it a bit and the reaction has been tremendous.”
Halperin reported in December 2008 that Jackson was in weak health — and was quoted in a celebrity mag at the time predicting that the pop star would be dead within six months.
Halperin’s shingle and Objective Films are behind the doc, which will be distributed for TV in some territories and as a theatrical release in others. Halperin’s credits include co-authoring two books about the death of Kurt Cobain, as well as the doc “His Highness Hollywood.”
Halperin and Grant are producing “Gone Too Soon” along with Jarred Weisfeld and Sarah Girgis.