Neeson, who will appear in the show as a giant hologram, and Wayne gave a press conference this morning hosted by Simon Mayo.
Wayne described the use of 3D holography to present Neeson’s character as a “technological leap forward”, and confirmed that, ahead of the tour, a new double album will be released in the summer.
Previous versions of the show, which first toured in 2006 and has since been seen by over half a million people, featured projections of Richard Burton, who voiced The Journalist on Wayne’s original 1978 concept album.
Neeson, who has starred in films including Schindler’s List, Star Wars and Love Actually, said today he was “flattered” to be inheriting the role from Burton.
Jeff Wayne added: “After long consideration I concluded that for future productions, some of HG Wells’ storylines and characters should be re-explored … Perhaps the greatest opportunity was revisiting the main character of George Herbert, The Journalist who threads the story together ... I believe audiences and listeners alike will find Liam's interpretation now less compelling.”
Neeson, who declared himself a fan of the original album, will appear in three ways during the show: as an 11-foot high hologram; within CGI sequences on a 100-foot ‘animation wall’; and as a ‘full body interacting holographically with the show’s live performers’. He won't be singing though - "I only do that in the bath", he said.
The War of the Worlds – The New Generation opens at the Liverpool Echo Arena on 1 December 2012, subsequently visiting Cardiff, Nottingham, London (Wembley Arena – 6 December), Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow, Bournemouth, London (O2 Arena – 15 December) and Brighton.
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