This page has been created to provide answers to commonly asked questions received by the Estate through the Michael Jackson Online Team. The page will be updated occasionally with additional questions and answers and you can submit questions for consideration through the submission form on this page.
Neverland unfortunately cannot be open for public visitation. We wish it could. Its location and the applicable zoning regulations prohibit opening it up to the public. During his lifetime, Michael explored this possibility and was faced with the fact that it could not be done.
Neverland is managed and controlled by Colony Capital, not by the Estate. This is based on a contract Michael signed in 2008. We did explore with Colony Capital a number of potential options for Neverland, including donating it to the State of California to be preserved for historical purposes and special events, but none proved feasible and ultimately Colony decided to sell the property. Neverland has always been and will continue to be a very expensive property to maintain. Thus, without any viable option to generate income from the property, Colony’s decision to find a buyer is understandable and it is the same reason that the Estate cannot purchase the property. We trust that any new owners will respect the historical importance and special nature of this wonderful property.
We also think it is important to keep in mind that as magical and beautiful a place as Neverland was during the years Michael lived there, it was not his home for the last few years of his life and he publicly stated that it would not be his home again. Michael’s music, vision and messages remain ever present with us – the artist, the creative genius and the caring human being with an unparalleled passion for the planet and the people who inhabit it. This will continue to be immortal and inspire generations to come.
We do hope that there will be a Michael Jackson Museum. We have and will continue to explore that possibility. We are also researching the possibility that the Hayvenhurst property could be opened for limited public tours and we are optimistic about this possibility. While this is not imminent, it is something we would like to accomplish.
Eventually more music will be released but there is nothing in the vaults that is finished and ready for release. We don’t and won’t release everything in the vaults based on the choices Michael made during his life.
We agree with LA Reid’s philosophy on Xscape: we prefer to start with those recordings on which Michael sang full vocals because we know those are the ones he put the most work into. We are criticized by some fans when we don’t release unreleased material. And we are criticized by other fans when we release unreleased material using top producers, many of whom worked with Michael, to finish the recordings. If we released demos by themselves, they would not be commercially successful because they are, by definition, unfinished.
The Scream album and the animated Halloween special were inspired by Michael’s love of Halloween and animation as well as the public interest every October in Thriller. Michael Jackson’s Halloween and the Scream album are intended to serve as the first part of a slate of Halloween releases to take place in future years – we love the idea of Michael Jackson dominating Halloween!
Scream is meant to be a playlist that will return to streaming services each October and there may also be special collector vinyl and CD releases like this year’s glow in the dark vinyl that could include other content or surprises as well.
Similarly, Michael Jackson’s Halloween is intended as an annual release, like the animated Charlie Brown holiday specials, ultimately being broadcast in most countries around the world each year. Though while not intended to compete with the $100 million + budget animation theatrical films, the quality of this animation exceeds anything that’s on television. It is meant for family viewing and to attract new fans. As importantly, it offers an opportunity to hear Michael’s music in an entirely new way and to share one of Michael’s own guiding principles – believe in yourself and follow your dreams – in a fun and entertaining way. Just as in Ghosts, Michael plays many parts and appears in multiple disguises, including as a stylized, superhero version of himself that fits in this magical world. It is not meant to be a true representation of the actual person but rather a magical character that belongs in the world that has been created. We recommend watching the program with a great stereo and the volume turned up.It is also a showpiece to allow Hollywood film and TV directors and global merchandisers to experience how effectively Michael’s music can be used to drive a story.
The Halloween take-over doesn’t stop there! We know everyone will enjoy the new short films, “Blood on the Dance Floor 2017” and “Blood on the Dance Floor X Dangerous” that feature Michael’s footage from his original short films. And next year, we intend to add a release of “Thriller 3D” or “Ghosts 3D” in movie theaters around the world as part of the annual celebration.
These projects, and others that may be added in subsequent years, when taken together will help introduce Michael to new generations of fans and help parents introduce Michael to their children. For example, we heard of a fan who played “Torture” for his wife which led to her wanting to hear more Michael and Jacksons music. While we are happy to know that fans are enjoying the album, anecdotes like this mean we are also finding new fans!
We love and appreciate the passion of Michael’s fans. We know how privileged we are to have known and have worked with Michael and we take seriously the trust he put in us to manage his assets and his legacy. We also know how fortunate we are that, with the King of Pop, “the greatest entertainer that ever lived”, comes an enormous, diverse and passionate fan community with varying and sometimes conflicting views about everything related to Michael. And that naturally includes the projects undertaken by the Estate. We therefore welcome the fans’ comments and great support as, even when there is criticism, it demonstrates a shared passion and love for Michael.
It is interesting to note that we were criticized by members of Michael’s family for the release of This Is It, which went on to become not only the most successful concert documentary in history, but a film that offers a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of Michael’s true artistic genius. We were criticized by a few journalists for the show created with Cirque du Soleil, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour. The show went on to become one of the most successful touring shows of all time. Fortunately, we have not been criticized by virtually anyone for Michael Jackson ONE, the permanent show in Las Vegas, which has already been seen by more than 3.5 million people since its premiere and continues to one of the top shows in Las Vegas. These projects demonstrate the immense and enduring popularity of Michael Jackson.
The critiques we do receive remind us that we can’t please everyone all the time. We too are Michael fans and we do our best to create projects which we would like to see and hear. The purpose of creating these projects is to enhance Michael’s legacy, to please and excite wherever possible the existing fans, and to introduce Michael to new generations of fans. And rest assured, sooner or later we will get to many of the projects that we know the fans want, including anniversary albums and documentaries for Dangerous and HIStory.
Many of these bother us every bit as much as they bother the fans. However, we make a serious analysis with the help of our litigators to determine whether or not we have the legal grounds to stop a particular project. If we do, we act. But in many cases, we do not. And to make an unsuccessful effort to stop projects would only bring more attention to these awful and, in many cases, vile projects. The one thing that can be said is that no music under our control will be heard in these projects.
We are not planning to release a soundtrack album for Michael Jackson ONE. However, we are planning a big birthday celebration for August 29 next year (2018) to celebrate Michael’s birthday. We are hoping to have members of Michael’s family, persons who worked with Michael, and Michael’s biggest fans attend this big celebration in Las Vegas at the Michael Jackson ONE Theater at Mandalay Bay. We want to invite everyone to attend and to make reservations in advance; this will be special!