Move Over, Tupac: Freddie Mercury to ‘Appear’ at a Queen Concert

Guitarist Brian May says the legendary frontman is being reanimated for a West End performance this month.

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Paul Natkin / WireImage / Getty Images

One of the best-known showbiz mantras is “anything you can do, I can do better.” But this might be taking things a tad too far.

Last month, the late rapper Tupac Shakur appeared on stage at the Coachella music festival, thanks to holographic technology, to perform a duet with Snoop Dogg.

(MORE: Next Step for Tupac’s Hologram: National Tour?)

Now it seems like Queen’s former lead singer Freddie Mercury, who has been dead for 20 years, is set for a special comeback of his own. Guitarist Brian May told the BBC that the much-missed frontman will “appear” on stage during a very special 10th anniversary performance of the Queen-inspired London musical We Will Rock You. “People will come out saying, ‘did we actually see Freddie?'” May said, though he was at pains to point out that the “effect” being employed wasn’t a hologram, but rather “an optical illusion of sorts.”

(MORE: Farrokh Bulsara, a.k.a. Freddie Mercury: The Making of an Unlikely Asian Rock Star)

May, of course, can call it whatever he wants, but he did confess to some frustration at Tupac beating Mercury to the beyond-the-grave punch. “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. “[That 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.”

For your diary, the Mercury appearance is scheduled for May 14; the performance will also see nearly all of the original London cast in attendance, as well as actor Robert De Niro, one of We Will Rock You‘s producers. “We call him Bob so we don’t get too overcome with his stardom,” May sweetly pointed out. No matter how star-studded the audience is, though, we’re betting Mercury will steal the show.

LIST: Remembering Freddie Mercury: 5 Videos to Celebrate His 65th Birthday