Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical”) is attached to direct from a script by Jeremy Garelick (“The Hangover”)
Fox 2000, Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate/Mandate are also in the mix, but according to Deadline, King's company has the inside track.
Real Effects Entertainment has spent the last few weeks quietly shopping the project, which will likely be budgeted at under $50 million dollars — a relatively small price to pay for a high-concept movie fashioned from one of the best-known songs of all-time.
Plot details are being kept under wraps but it the story reportedly deals with the song's folklore, which involves Vincent Price and the town he grew up in.
Jackson's estate still has to sign off on the project, but that's not expected to jeopardize the completion of the deal, which also includes "Thriller" songwriter Rod Temperton.
Additionally, Deadline reports that Montecito partners Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock are interesting in making a movie that deals with Jackson's early years, while Cirque du Soleil is in talks to do not one but two live shows based on Jackson's music.