The title, released by Universal Pictures, follows a “triumphant” UK and European arena tour and has been filmed at London’s O2.
The all-star cast includes Marti Pellow as The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist, Jason Donovan as Parson Nathaniel, Wicked’s Kerry Ellis as his wife Beth, Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson as The Artilleryman and Jettblack’s Will Stapleton as The Voice of Humanity.
Liam Neeson takes over from screen legend Richard Burton in the role of George Herbert, The Journalist who appears in pre-filmed sequences which “seamlessly” mingle with the on-stage action.
Neeson’s 90 sequences (as opposed to Richard’s 74) include an appearance as an 11-foot high holographic ‘head and shoulders’ above the stage and within CGI sequences projected on the show’s 100-foot wide Animation Wall.
Commenting on Neeson’s casting, Jeff Wayne said: “Richard Burton’s magnificent original performance of 74 sequences as George Herbert, the Journalist, were finite. There was no opportunity to expand it as Richard passed away in 1984.
“From the sadness came excitement of seeing 90 sequences performed now by one of the new generation of great actors, Liam Neeson. Richard couldn’t have passed his baton to anyone more fitting. The new production also grew in every way, and the cast of 2012 complete the evolution.”