Disney says no plans to bring back Jackson 3D film

ANAHEIM, California Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:44pm EDT

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ANAHEIM, California (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co on Thursday dashed fan speculation that it plans to resurrect the Michael Jackson 3-D film "Captain EO" in its theme parks, saying the 1986 short movie is dated.

"There aren't plans to bring back 'Captain EO' at this time," Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said at a news conference.

"We are looking at it. It's the kind of thing that, if we did it, would get a fair amount of attention and we'd want to make sure we do it right."

Iger said he and four Disney executives recently viewed the 17-minute movie that was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and noted that special-effects production techniques have advanced significantly since the film was made. Jackson's face also changed markedly in the intervening years.

"There's a simplicity to it," Iger said. "He's (Jackson) charming."

Iger said he has held no discussions with representatives for Jackson's estate. It was not clear who owns the film.

Since Jackson's death in June, the film has enjoyed a resurgence of interest on the Internet.

Some websites speculated that Disney would announce a reintroduction of "Captain EO" during its current D23 fan expo in Anaheim, the southern California city where Disneyland is based.

Jackson's costume from the film, as well as costumes from other popular Disney films from "Mary Poppins" to "Pirates of the Caribbean," are among the wares on display at the expo.

Jackson played the title character in the science fiction movie about the crew of a spaceship on a mission to see a wicked queen played by Anjelica Huston.

The film was shown at Disneyland and company parks in Florida, Tokyo and Paris until the mid-1990s. That coincided with a time when Jackson's career cooled and he started getting caught up in child-molestation accusations.

(Reporting by Sue Zeidler, editing by Dean Goodman and Will Dunham)

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