Sound credentials: A Jackson movie in pipeline?

Even as they seek to account for all of Michael Jackson’s business holdings, the two advisors he named co-executors of his will are working to generate income which could strengthen their grip on his multi-million dollar estate, legal experts said.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Thu 23 Jul 2009, 3:45 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:32 PM

Attorney John Branca and business executive John McClain are in talks with AEG Live, the promoter of the London concerts Jackson was preparing for when he died on June 25, to sell videotape of the King of Pop’s rehearsals that could be used to make a movie or DVD.

Hollywood studio Sony Pictures Entertainment, a unit of Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp., has been widely reported to be the lead studio for the deal because Sony’s music division has rights to Jackson’s recordings.

Media reports have said Sony will pay $50 million to $60 million for the footage, and an agreement could be announced any day. Sony and AEG Live repeatedly have declined comment.

Legal experts said this week that by helping AEG Live secure a deal, Branca and McClain could strengthen their bid for control of Jackson’s estate by showing a judge they have acumen to handle Jackson’s business.

“They may feel their negotiations (over rehearsal footage) would stand in their favour, because it does show they have the wherewithal to capitalize on the assets of the estate,” said attorney Beth Kaufman, an expert in trusts and estates.

Branca and McClain were not available to comment. At stake is control of the King of Pop’s fortune that includes part ownership of music publishing firm Sony/ATV, which owns the rights to songs from the Beatles and numerous other music acts.

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