Legendary rock group Queen will reunite for the first time since their front man's death in 1991 on Monday, May 14 when the band is set to perform with a Freddie Mercury 'hologram' created through an optical illusion. Guitarist Brian May recently revealed to BBC that Mercury will appear onstage during a special performance celebrating the 10th anniversary of Queen musical We Will Rock You.
People will come out saying, 'did we actually see Freddie?' said May.
The performance takes place at the Dominion Theater in London, where Queen's rock musical has been a hit for 10 years. Returning with Mercury will be most of the original cast, as show producer Robert De Niro.
There is a certain person who's coming that's intimately associated with getting the production on in the first place - our friend Bob [Robert De Niro] from Los Angeles, May told BBC.
May noted that they had been working on the Freddie Mercury 'Hologram,' which is actually an optical illusion, since before Dr. Dre surprised and delighted the world by unleashing a Tupac hologram at Coachella.
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, he said.
Although there's no official word on how long Mercury will perform as part of the show, May suggested that the reunion could last for months.
[The Tupac 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, he hinted.
Freddy Mercury's imminent resurrection will please the lucky audience in attendance that night, but will miss out on the shock factor that made the Tupac Shakur Hologram such a hit.
Despite being referred to as a hologram by many, the impressive effect is actually a 2-dimensional video projected against a screen. The illusion uses a bit of clever technology based on an old theater trick. May stressed to the BBC that the effect is not a hologram, instead calling it an optical illusion of sorts.
At Coachella, the Tupac Hologram, a life-like animation of the object was projected down onto a mirror and reflected against a transparent foil screen. The screen is angled so that the audience sees the image but not screen, leaving room for live performers to stand behind the projection.
The Tupac 'Hologram' was created by the Arizona-based AV Concepts using technology from the London-based Musion Systems Ltd.'s Musion Eyeliner setup. The image of Tupac used at Coachella was created by production house Digital Domain.
The system is based off of Pepper's Ghost, a theater technique long used to produce illusions for magic tricks and plays. Centuries ago the trick was performed by hiding an actor below the stage facing a mirror. The audience would see the actor's ghostly image reflected onto a sheet of glass suspended above the stage.