In 2009 the Nederlander Organization announced the negotiation of a rights deal to produce a stage musical based on Jackson's iconic song and video "Thriller." Jackson was to be involved in the creation of the musical that would have featured songs from the "Thriller" and "Off the Wall" albums.
Nederlander's civil suit seeks to uphold the 2008 contract in which Jackson allowed for the use of his songs. The contract also provided Jackson with approval of the musical's book writer and products related to the show. The suit also seeks an injunction that would ensure that the executors could not license the songs for use in another musical. (In April the Jackson estate announced a deal with Cirque du Soleil to create two shows featuring Jackson's music.)
The 2008 contract between the Nederlanders and Jackson granted the producers the rights to develop the tuner through October 2011 (with a possible option to extend through 2013).
The Nederlander Organization declined the opportunity to comment to the Times. A lawyer for Jackson estate executors John Branca and John McClain said in a statement that the contract may not be enforceable following Jackson's untimely death in 2009.