Spike Lee working on a documentary on Michael Jackson's 'Bad' album
Spike Lee is working on a new documentary which takes a look at the work behind Michael Jackson's "Bad" album.
Lee worked with Michael Jackson and was friends with the singer, but the director told The Associated Press in a new interview that he learned a lot about Jackson after combing through archive footage for the documentary.
"We have footage in this documentary that no one's ever seen, stuff that Michael shot himself, behind-the-scenes stuff," Lee told the wire service on July 10. "We had complete access to the vaults of Michael Jackson."
"He wrote 60 demos for the 'Bad' record. Only 11 made it," he added. "So we got to hear a lot of that stuff, too, so it was just a great experience."
The documentary does not yet have a title and is not due out until later this year, but Lee said that most viewers won't "have to be a Michael Jackson-head to enjoy this."
"Bad" was released 25 years ago in 1987 and the album's first single "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" was recently re-released as part of a 25th anniversary celebration. The album was a follow-up to the smash hit "Thriller" album and included five No. 1 hits like "Smooth Criminal," "Bad," "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Dirty Diana."
A 25th anniversary edition of "Bad" is being re-released September 18 with additional tracks, a DVD and other bonus material. The estate of Michael Jackson also teamed up with Pepsi back in May to release special edition Pepsi cans to commemorate the album's anniversary. The soft drink company is also behind a campaign that includes merchandise, live events and worldwide advertisements for the album's celebration.
The director also said viewers will get to see a different side of Jackson in the documentary. "He had a great sense of humor, and he was funny - so you'll see a lot of that stuff," Lee said.
Lee also interviewed many contemporary artists from Kanye West to Mariah Carey to L.A. Reid to Sheryl Crow. Crow was Jackson's background singer on the "Bad" tour.
The director said, "We really divided it into two things: Artists today who were influenced by Michael, and then people who worked side by side - musicians, songwriters, technicians, engineers, people at the label, who were all committed to Michael, to the follow-up to the biggest record of all time, which still is 'Thriller."'
Lee also recently teamed up with former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson to direct Tyson's upcoming one-man Broadway show, "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth."
(Above: Michael Jackson and filmmaker Spike Lee, right, accompanied by two unidentified children, arrive at the airport in the northeastern Brazilian city of Salvador on Friday, Feb. 9, 1996. [AP Photo/Inacio Texeira])