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The renowned director looks at how the King of Pop was crowned.

The latest project from Chi-Raq director Spike Lee is a documentary about Michael Jackson’s early years, following his transformation from Motown wunderkind to disco superstar with the release of 1979’s groundbreaking Off The Wall.

Michael Jackson’’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall uses material from the performer’’s personal archive, interviews with family members and contemporary musicians, and Jackson’s own words to chart his rise from child star to King of Pop.

The documentary is being released as part of Sony’s reissue of the Quincy Jones-produced album, which scored Jackson a string of massive hits – ‘‘Don’’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’, ‘Rock With You’, ‘She’s Out Of My Life’ and ‘Off The Wall’ – when he was still only 20 years old. The CD/DVD set also includes a 16-page booklet with an essay and photos and, er, “a piece of chalk and inside panels with a chalkboard finish” to mimic the album’s cover.

The film will also have its world premiere on January 24 at Sundance before airing on Showtime on February 5. The CD/DVD set is available for pre-order ahead of its release on February 26.

At the other, bleaker end of the timeline, Jackson’s last days are the subject of a new TV series developed by biographer Tavis Smiley. We’re still waiting for someone to pick up that screenplay about Bubbles.

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