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Freddie Mercury Illusion: Queen Says It Will Bring Singer On Stage, Insists He Won't Be A Hologram

05/12/2012 10:58 am ET | Updated May 12, 2012

Queen is getting into the digital resurrection game, but the band insists it won't be using a hologram to bring Freddie Mercury back on stage. Instead, guitarist Brian May describes the effect as an "optical illusion."

According to May, the band had been working on the idea for quite some time. "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.

May was, of course, referring to the late rapper's "performance" at Coachella, where the "Holler If You Hear Me" artist shared the stage with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. The teams behind the Tupac show used a projection technique which became commonly referred to as a "hologram," though it was actually a 2-D image.

The Tupac "hologram" was a huge hit, with many fans and celebrities taking to Twitter to express their wonderment. Rumors of a Tupac tour quickly surfaced, though Dre would later throw some cold water on the reports.

It's a surprising development for Queen, as drummer Roger Taylor told Billboard in April that he did not want to appear with a hologram of his "dear friend." "It's the real one or no hologram for me. But I think it's an amazing effect when used properly -- obviously in darkness," Taylor said at the time.

Queen plans to unveil the Mercury illusion on May 14th, the 10th anniversary of their musical, "We Will Rock You," which plays in London's West End. The late singer won't be the only big name making an appearance: Robert De Niro is also set to drop in.

"There is a certain person who's coming that's intimately associated with getting the production on in the first place -- our friend Bob from Los Angeles," May said.

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