Movies like Justice League and Avengers: Infinity War were the big stories out of San Diego Comic-Con, but there’s no denying that Netflix’s Stranger Things positively stole the show — but it almost didn’t happen.
The talk of the con was the show’s Season 2 trailer, which sent tingles down pretty much everyone’s spines thanks to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” serving as the backdrop to the freaky, Upside Down action. Producer Shawn Levy chatted with io9 about the licensing process, and revealed that cutting the deal was one of the hardest things he’s ever done in Hollywood, because their request was rejected. A lot.
Here’s an excerpt from his comments:
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to pull off as a producer. It’s very, very hard — for reasons I won’t go into — we were rejected repeatedly, for months. A month ago, it was over, and we had another trailer that was being shipped to San Diego. And it didn’t have that song. The brothers and I would watch it, and it really just ate away at us, because we knew it was a really good trailer — but with “Thriller” — it’s next level.
So I basically decided to be a major pain in the ass, went back into bull-headed producer mode, and I figured out a way to work out a deal to license ‘Thriller.’ … That was a really happy day, the day we pulled off that licensing arrangement.”
As much of a hassle as it may have been, there’s no doubt Levy fought the good fight to get this song in the trailer. Because it’s just so darn good. Seriously, go watch it again. And again. It’s like that tune was built for this world.
Season 2 of Stranger Things hits Netflix on October 27.