Michael Jackson ‘This Is It’ Director Shrugs Off Oscar Buzz

Kenny Ortega, the director of the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, has spoken out about speculation the film might be nominated for an Academy Award.

Michael Jackson: 'This Is It'
Michael Jackson: 'This Is It'

Sony Pictures has received two disappointing blows this week so far in their release of the Michael Jackson This Is It documentary. First, the film as so far generated much lower ticket sales than projected, garnering only $20.1 million so far of the $60 million investment made in the film. Second, Sony Pictures has pulled plans to release the film on DVD in time for the holiday shopping season due to protests from movie theater owners who feared the quick DVD release would damage ticket sales.

In spite of the less than blockbuster success expected for the film, there is some good buzz for Sony Pictures. Speculation This Is It might come away with more than a few award nominations, including an Oscar nod. Unfortunately the film was released too late to be nominated for the Best Documentary category, but it could still be eligible for other Oscar awards, including Best Picture.

This Is It director Kenny Ortega is not lending much weight to the Oscar speculation yet, however. “Awards, Oscars, that’s all great wishful thinking,” Ortega said, according to CBS news. More important for Ortega though was “telling a good story and creating a film for the fans, really enabling them to understand what Michael Jackson had dreamed for them.”

Director Kenny Ortega Shakes Off ‘Footloose’ Remake

Director Kenny Ortega is hanging up his dancing shoes. Ortega announced this weekend he would be pulling out of the Paramount remake of Footloose, starring Gossip Girl‘s Chace Crawford and Dancing With the Stars pro Julianne Hough.


“Coming off the extraordinary project, Michael Jackson‘s This is It, director Kenny Ortega has decided it is premature for him to commit to his next film and will not be moving forward with Footloose as previously reported,” a rep for the director said in a press statement.

Ortega and Paramount had reportedly been in a dispute over the Footloose remake over the film’s direction and budget. Paramount reportedly wanted to do the film as a drama and keep the budget as low as possible. Ortega, however, allegedly wanted to include lavish dance numbers and desired a bigger budget. Considering Ortega helmed all three High School Musical films, no big surprise there.

Zac Efron was first slated to star in the Footloose remake, taking over the role the original film’s star Kevin Bacon, but was later replaced by Crawford.