New ‘Thriller 40’ Trailer Promises a Look Behind the Curtain of Michael Jackson’s Iconic 1982 Album [Watch]

Thriller 40 will go behind the scenes of Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking 1982 album, the videos it spawned, and its impact on the world. Watch the official trailer below.

Videos by American Songwriter

The documentary will feature never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage of the making of Thriller and the iconic music videos. Celebrated director, John Landis, who directed the unforgettable “Thriller” video will shed light on its production. Additionally, the film will feature artists who grew up with the album.

In the trailer, Usher, Mary J. Blige,, Maxwell, and more speak about the album. Music journalist Steven Ivory starts the trailer with maybe the best description of how important the album was. “There are two things in the music business,” he said, “before Thriller and after Thriller.”

The album changed Jackson’s image in the public eye. With Thriller, he shed the teen star label and stepped into the shoes of an adult superstar. Then, he was on his way to becoming a cultural phenomenon. “Thriller set the standard for what it was to be a megastar,” Usher explains in the trailer.

The trailer also reveals that Thriller 40 will contain archival footage of Jackson discussing the landmark record. Viewers will hear the late superstar briefly discussing his mindset going into making the album. “I came in angry,” he said. Additionally, the documentary will feature footage of Jackson’s first moonwalk and how it changed things.

Fans first heard about Thriller 40 last year. At the time, director Nelson George spoke about the impact the album had on the world. “The release of Thriller redefined Michael Jackson, taking him from teen star to adult superstar,” he said. The director added that the album and the music videos it inspired, “created a new template for marrying music and image.”

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of Jackson’s estate and executive producers on the documentary also weighed in on the impact of Thriller. With the album, they said, Jackson “breached destructive barriers in the music industry and literally united the world through his music. There isn’t a place on this planet that hasn’t been exhilarated by the music of Michael Jackson.”

Thriller 40 premieres on Showtime December 2 at 8 p.m. Eastern. It will also be available on Paramount+ for subscribers with Showtime on the same day.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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