Jeff Wayne Music Group, according to the trade magazine, has signed a deal with China's M-Star Intl. Culture & Media Co. to present a theatrical The War of the Worlds.
"The large-scale show is somewhere between a rock concert and very large-scale theater," Wayne was quoted as saying. Among the features of the production include five Martian fighting machines (up to 30 feet in height), a handling and flying machine, the Thunder Child frigate and a number of other special effects including bringing back Richard Burton's original performance in holographic form.
The expected $18 million venture is tentatively scheduled to open in China for the 2007 Chinese New Year, just prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics being held in Beijing. The stage show would then begin a world tour.
Wayne composed and provided his voice on the 1978 concept album musical which interpolated song into the famous H.G. Wells novel. Actor Richard Burton starred in the work as the narrator-protagonist along with The Moody Blues member Justin Hayward as well as pop star David Essex. Former Elton John collaborator Gary Osborne provided most of the lyrics to the songs.
The "Musical Version of 'The War of the Worlds'" was re-released in June of this year — timed to accompany the recent Steven Spielberg film release starring Tom Cruise. For more information on Jeff Wayne's "Musical Version of 'The War of the Worlds'," visit www.thewaroftheworlds.com.