Jeff Wayne’s musical version of The War of The Worlds, one of the most successful arena spectaculars of recent times, returns with The New Generation worldwide tour in November 2012. Liam Neeson will star as the story’s leading character in 3D holography.
The return of the tour will follow the release of a double album featuring a new interpretation of Jeff Wayne’s production, which has sold over 15 million double albums for Sony since its original release in 1978. 59-year-old Neeson joins the cast as George Herbert, The Journalist, in a role made famous by Richard Burton on the original recording and in the arena shows.
"I loved the book as a kid. I remember buying the tape. I loved the music. It did sound very, very interesting. We shot it over 3 or 4 days. There’s a camera. It’s on green screen, which I am very used to with Star Wars and Clash of the Titans, but it wasn’t enormously different to shooting a film," said Neeson.
Neeson will be seen in three ways: appearing as a world first full body hologram seen on stage interacting with live actors; as an 11-foot high holographic head and shoulders hovering above the stage; and within the 2 hours of cutting edge CGI animation projected onto the incredible 100-foot wide Animation Wall which, along with a 36-piece orchestra, and the Black Smoke Band adds a true epic scale to the production.
Jeff Wayne said the decision to cast the new lead role was certainly a difficult one.
"I knew that with a re-developed storyline, a new Journalist would need to be sought as Richard Burton’s original performance was finite. Whoever that person might turn out to be, he would have to be of no less stature and quality of voice than that of Richard – an incredibly tough act to follow. But once again I have been fortunate, and have attracted Liam Neeson to these New Generation productions. He has, so-to-speak, been handed the ‘baton’ from Richard Burton, and I believe audiences and listeners alike will find Liam’s interpretation no less compelling," Wayne said.
The new double CD being released in June 2012 will recapture the magic including all of the additions to the new production. The international arena tour will commence in November of 2012 with dates to be scheduled in the U.S. for the first time ever. The tour will then head to the U.K. on December 1, 2012.
Enjoy this clip from the original live stage show!
Source: Press Release, Photo: Paul Hackett / Reuters