Inside Michael Jackson's Cirque du Soleil Show
THR: Will fans get all the hits?
King: I can't imagine doing a Michael Jackson show without providing the hits -- those iconic moments that really defined Michael. He touched the world and we all can remember a moment in time where we were influenced by a song or a moonwalk or a sequined glove, so it's important that the hits are there not just musically, but with imagery like Thriller and "Smooth Criminal."
THR: What's the timeline like for you?
King: I've been in preproduction for about five months and the next phase is about casting and getting my 60-plus cast together. Then next year begins the rehearsal process and the show opens October 2, 2011 so I will stay through the opening.
THR: How does the collaborative process work with so many influencers -- you, the family, Cirque, etc.?
King: We are a collective effort and a working team and want to make sure we're all going for the same vision. There's nothing that we do without everyone's blessing. I wouldn't want to speak for anyone, but from the beginning, our collective thought process has been to tell the world, show them and remind them of the Michael we all knew and loved. He's a man who affected all of us globally. Whether you're a good dancer or bad, we've all tried the moonwalk or the "Beat It" dance or Thriller. His life has really touched us all, and that's the thing we want to carry on with this show: that Michael lives in all of us, and we want to celebrate that.
THR: What did you think of This is It?
King: I thought it was a very inspirational look at michael. It's sad that with all the press and the world that we live in, you can sometimes get lost, so it was nice to just get back to the music and the artistry and really show the world what the man was about. Michael was about performance, the artistry of the stage and the realness of the sound.
Billion-dollar box office: that's how much revenue Jamie King-directed tours have grossed in the last five years alone. Here, the biggest of his productions -- in profits.
Madonna "Sticky and Sweet" tour (2008): $408 million
Madonna "Confessions" tour (2006): $195 million
Celine Dion "Taking Chances" tour (2008-2009): $278 million
Britney Spears "Circus" tour (2009): $132 million
Madonna "Reinvention" tour (2004): $125 million