Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Hailed by Usher, Mary J. Blige, Mark Ronson & More in 40th-Anniversary Doc: Trailer Premiere

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More than four decades after the release of Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, the new Thriller 40 documentary will salute the landmark album — and Billboard is premiering the trailer below.

Usher, Mary J. Blige, will.i.am, Mark Ronson, Misty Copeland, Maxwell, “Thriller” video director John Landis and more are all interviewed for Thriller 40, which includes never-before-seen footage behind the making of the classic.


Released Nov. 30, 1982, Thriller — Jackson’s sixth studio album — spawned seven top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 including two No. 1s: “Beat It” and “Billie Jean.” In addition to winning eight Grammys, the album has been RIAA-certified at 34-times platinum and amassed more than 100 million in sales worldwide, making it the biggest-selling album globally of all time.

Thriller 40 debuts Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET on Showtime and will stream on Paramount+ (for Paramount+ With Showtime subscribers). The film will also make its international debut the same day on Paramount+ in the U.K., Australia, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Latin America and South Korea and on MTV internationally, excluding China and Japan. The film was directed by Nelson George and produced by Optimum Productions and Company Name. Colin Hanks, Sean Stuart and Jackson estate co-executors John Branca and John McClain serve as producers.

“There are two things in the music business: before Thriller and after Thriller,” journalist Steven Ivory says to kick off the trailer, premiering below.

The trailer navigates the album’s production process, the music videos, the Moonwalk (which Jackson debuted at 1983’s Motown 25 special) and the eventual world domination of the project and its musical mastermind.

“It’s the ultimate blueprint to modern pop music,” Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am says in the trailer. “If Thriller came out today, it would still be the greatest album ever made.”

Watch the trailer below, and check out the premiere Dec. 2 on Showtime and Paramount+.

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