May 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM ET
Queen will bring back the band's late frontman Freddie Mercury through optical illusion for Monday's tenth anniversary performance of the London musical, “We Will Rock You.”
The BBC reports that the rock band has been trying to figure out a way to revive Mercury for the show for some time now, and that the results will impress. Queen guitarist Brian May told the BBC, "People will come out saying, 'Did we actually see Freddie?'”
Mercury died in 1991.
The production team is considering a similar technique to the one used to resurrect late rapper Tupac Shakur on stage at California's Coachella Music Festival in April, which is technically not a hologram, but uses similar technology. The British musician also emphasized that the idea had been in the works prior to that event.
"It's a little unfortunate they did that thing with Tupac as we've been trying to make Freddie appear on the stage for quite a while," May said. "[That technique] is something we've looked at ourselves, but I think probably for a show that runs eight shows a week, it's not really quite practical."
The musical, based on a collection of the band’s hit songs, was written in part by May and Queen drummer Roger Taylor, and opened on May 14, 2002. It has since become the longest-running musical at its venue. The special performance on Monday will celebrate the show’s accomplishment, and according to BBC, nearly all the original London cast as well as producer Robert De Niro will be in attendance.
The Mercury revival news comes only weeks after Taylor told Billboard magazine he opposed the idea.
"I don't think I want to," said the drummer when asked about Mercury appearing. "Were somebody (else) to use a hologram of Freddie, I would have no objection... It just doesn't sit too well with me. I don't want to appear with a hologram of my dear friend. It's the real one or no hologram for me. But I think it's an amazing effect when used properly -- obviously in darkness."
Since the Shakur appearance, rumors have spread that other dead musicians could virtually come back to life. In April, the R&B group TLC hinted that a reunion tour could include a simulation of the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and E! News reported that Michael Jackson could find new life on the road with his brothers.
Musion Technology Ltd, the company who produced the Tupac hologram, told NME that other stars could also receive the treatment.
Sanj Surati, head of music at the firm, said, Elvis onstage with Justin Bieber ‘would be a cool thing," and that other artists could include Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Whitney Houston.
In April, MTV News took a poll of music fans, who cited John Lennon and Amy Winehouse as others they’d like to see resurrected.
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