Ed Wood’s hit ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ gets an Opera adaptation – The Hollywood Reporter

Flying saucer on Bayreuth! Unspeakable terror descends on the Philharmonic! Ten words I never thought I would write. But Plan 9 from outer space being turned into an opera.

Historically lousy and legendary hit from 1957 — which Tim Burton honored in his 1994 Oscar-winning film Wood Ed starring Johnny Depp as plan 9 director — will receive classical music treatment by Thai composer, and B-movie fanatic, Somtow Sucharitkul.

Plan 9 from the universe: A truly epic opera by Somtow Sucharitkul currently in the libretto stage. The drills will begin in earnest next year. sucharitkul plans to release a trailer for the “movie from the opera” next fall and premiere the entire opera in 2024. Torsten Neumann, director of the Oldenburg Film Festival, the country’s premier independent film festival Germany, in production.

plan 9 is, of course, celebrated as the worst photograph ever taken and as a cultural icon,” Somtow said. “Movie enthusiasts know all the lines by heart. I intend to compose music in the spirit of Ed Wood – with extreme seriousness and high moral purpose, in keeping with the lofty theme of aliens saving humanity from itself – at just the right time, ah, this time.”

“Of course, we don’t intend to produce the ‘worst opera’ in history,” says Neumann, “quite the contrary. The true spirit of plan 9 comes from the utter sincerity of Ed Wood’s vision and the fact that there is no such thing as incompetence, lack of money or risk as the star dies before shooting begins. [which happened to planned Plan 9 star Bela Lugosi] can undermine his optimism and confidence. In a way, it’s a metaphor for all filmmakers and their multifaceted vision.”

sucharitkul has pertinent classical information. One of Thailand’s leading composers, his works include Requiem: Remembering 9/11 — commissioned by the Thai government as a gift to the victims of 9/11 — and original operas, including Helena Citronováabout a Holocaust survivor, composed on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, currently playing in repertoire at the Hof Theater in Germany, and Prince of Silencea “Bollywood play” about the Buddha’s past lives, the first of a planned series of ten operas, first premiered in Houston and later performed in Bangkok, Brno and Bayreuth.

You can watch the trailer for Sucharitkul’s Helena Citronová below.

But Sucharitkul has a dirty secret: he likes bad movies. He spent the 1980s and 1990s in Hollywood, where he reinvented himself as a science fiction novelist and occasional screenwriter for B-movie legends Roger Corman and Brian Yuzna. He even directed a movie: a 1989 straight-up horror title Die laughingwas recently re-released in 4K restored Blu-Ray by Vinegar Syndrome.

“How funny [my film] went from a popular film to a cult classic in just four decades,” sucharitkul quipped.

Last year, Sucharitkul wrote the script and starred in Conductor: Horror Symphony, a Thai horror film in which a frustrated classical music conductor (Sucharitkul) goes mad and begins to slaughter his student. “That’s basic Mr. Holland’s Opusresponse Texas chainsaw massacre,” Sucharitkul said.

The film had its world premiere at the Oldenburg Film Festival, Germany’s answer to Sundance, in 2021. Sucharitkul brought in his young orchestra Siam Sinfonietta, with members playing unexpected victims come his in Conductorto Oldenburg, where they performed the music for the film.


Somtow Sucharitkul in ‘The Maestro’

Courtesy of the Oldenburg Film Festival

It can also be seen that sucharitkul’s students are good candidates for this season’s season tar. Siam Sinfonietta is the orchestra performing in the final scene of the film. sucharitkul is the music consultant for the film.

“I have composed epic operas, a written trilogy (often involuntarily consolidating into more than three volumes) and a novel that was shortlisted by the Society for the “Forty Greatest Works of All Time.” Horror Writer. [1974’s Vampire Junction]… but I honestly say that a working adaptation of plan 9 would be the summation of my life’s work,” Sucharitkul said.

plan 9 won’t be the first film to get the opera treatment. Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore adapted his score for David Cronenberg’s 1986 film Fly into a two-act opera, with a libretto by David Henry Hwang, in 2008. It premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. American Composer Jake Heggie Becomes 1995 Tim Robbins Best Picture Winner The walking dead turned into an opera in 2010, featuring a libretto by playwright Terrence McNally, which premiered at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.

But with the source material, it can be said that plan 9opera, will be unlike anything classical music has ever seen before.

“I will not use a word in the libretto that was not written directly from the pen of Ed Wood,” Sucharitkul said. “Whether the character Bela Lugosi will manage a tragic aria, where he stays silent (not to mention dying) during the production of the film… that will be an interesting little easter egg coming out. “


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