The most talked about TV trailer (and trailer overall) of San Diego Comic-Con the other weekend was that for the second season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things”.
A big part of that talk was its use of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” song with its Vincent Price dialogue and iconic beat. It’s a song rarely used in trailers due to the insane difficulty and cost of licensing the music to use.
At Comic Con the other weekend, executive producer Shawn Levy was on hand for the panel and has now revealed that the song almost didn’t make it into the clip. In fact, they’d cut a whole other trailer and were set to use that until permission came through at the last minute. He tells io9:
“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 – and a month ago, it was over. And we had another trailer that was being shipped to San Diego [Comic-Con], and it did not have that song.
And the [Duffer] Brothers and I would watch it, and it just really ate away at us, ’cause we knew it was a good trailer, but with ‘Thriller,’ it’s next level. And, so, I basically decided to be a massive pain in the a–, and I went back into bull-headed producer mode.
And I figured out a way to work out a deal to license ‘Thriller.’ So that was a really happy day – the day we pulled off that licensing arrangement.”
“Stranger Things” returns to Netflix on October 27th.