Michael Jackson's ill-fated comeback shows in London would have featured a look-alike onstage and lip-syncing from the legendary performer.
The singer was booked for a string of 50 sell-out shows at London's O2 Arena in 2009, but passed away in June that year just weeks before the run of gigs was due to begin.
The star's mother, Katherine, has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against bosses of concert promoters AEG Live, who were behind Jackson's "This Is It" shows, alleging they were negligent in ignoring her son's life-threatening health issues as he was not well enough to perform.
Now the hearing in Los Angeles has been told Jackson was so out of shape he planned to lip-sync some songs and use an auto-cue machine to prompt him on his lyrics. A jaw-dropping stunt in which Jackson appeared to leap through a pane of glass would have featured a look-alike to fool fans.
Choreographer Travis Payne told the court on Tuesday he received an email from another worker on the "This Is It" shows stating: "Michael Jackson is not in shape enough yet to sing this stuff live and dance at the same time."