It’s no secret Spike Lee has great respect for Michael Jackson. After producing 2012 documentary Bad 25 about the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s Bad album, the filmmaker returned to take a deeper look at the late superstar singer’s life with Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall.
This go round, the film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival Sunday afternoon, focuses on the creative time before and during the recording of 1979's Off the Wall. Jackson recorded the groundbreaking album when he was only 20 and it shattered record sales and Rolling Stone even touted as the music project that “invented modern pop.”
Several stars and music artists are featured in the doc, including Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Kobe Bryant and Lee Daniels, who discuss Jackson’s impact and their love for that album. The Weeknd, for example, made an appearance and said Off the Wall “made me feel like I could sing,” adding, “I found my falsetto because of Off the Wall, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”
Interviews with Jackson’s family members are also in the mix, as well as archival live-concert footage and sit-downs with the King of Pop that will give you all types of nostalgic feels.
When Lee was honored at the Creative Coalition’s Spotlight Initiative Gala Awards Dinner Saturday night, he told the audience, “It’s a great honor that they entrusted me for the second time with Michael’s legacy. The first was a documentary called Bad 25 about the making of MJ’s Bad album. This one is a wider stroke. We follow Michael’s journey—young Michael, which leads to the Jackson 5—the momentous bringing Quincy Jones on the set of Thriller where they got together and put [things] in place for Off the Wall.”
Like Lee, producer John Branca believed this was a Michael Jackson doc that everyone needs to watch. “I really wanted people to see the struggles that Michael went through,” he told InStyle at Sunday’s premiere. He was—as Berry Gordy said [in the doc]—the greatest entertainer of all time—and he earned it. He worked hard for it."
This may not be the last time we see Lee produce a Michael Jackson doc, though. When asked at the premiere whether he would ever make another one, he replied, “I’d love to do it. It’d be a trilogy. Bad 25, Off the Wall.”
Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall premieres Friday, Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.