‘Bad’ boy Spike Lee honors Michael Jackson

Helmer presents pop doc at Venice

The Lido did the moonwalk on Friday as Spike Lee’s “Bad 25” documentary world preemed at the Venice Film Festival, 25 years to the day after Michael Jackson’s chart-topping album was released.

Lee, wearing a “Bad” T-shirt and black cap, called the two-hour homage, focussing on Jackson’s talent, his creative drive and encapsulating the end-of-the-80’s pop culture era, “a love letter to Michael,” of whom he has been a big fan since childhood, he said.

“I wanted to be Michael Jackson,” Lee told the packed presser. “I had the afro, the look, but singing and dancing? That’s where it stopped.”

John Branca — the doc’s executive producer and longtime producer for Jackson, now in charge of his estate — described “Bad” as a very special album for the late pop star.

“It was the first album which he co-produced with Quincy Jones in its entirety, and he wrote nine of the 11 songs.”

Branca said the film will be shown to Jackson’s kids Blanket, Paris and Prince.

“Bad 25” draws on a treasure trove of materials from the Jackson estate including home videos shot by Jackson himself or by his closest collaborators during rehearsals. It includes conversations with Martin Scorsese, who filmed one of the music videos for “Bad,” which will air in a tailored-for-TV version on ABC in November.

Branca said a theatrical release and director’s cut for homevideo are also planned, but did not disclose further distribution details.

Lee directed two videoclips for Jackson songs “They Don’t Care About Us” in 1997, and “This Is It” in 2009.

His doc, which unspooled in Venice out-of-competition, will segue to Toronto.

Venice feted Lee with its Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award honoring an artist’s mark on contemporary cinema on Friday.

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