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Ed Wood’s ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’ Getting Opera Adaptation (Exclusive)

Flying saucers over Bayreuth! Unspeakable horrors descend on the Philharmonic! Ten words I never thought I would write. But Plan 9 from outer space It’s turning into an opera.

The legendary, legendarily bad cult film from 1957, to which Tim Burton paid homage in his 1994 Oscar-winning film. ed wood starring Johnny Depp as the plane 9 Director: You’ll get the classical music treatment courtesy of Thai composer and B-movie fan Somtow Sucharitkul.

Plan 9 from outer space: a grand opera by Somtow Sucharitkul It is currently in the script stage. Rehearsals will begin in earnest next year. Sucharitkul plans to release a teaser “opera suite” next fall and release the full opera in 2024. Torsten Neumann, director of the Oldenburg Film Festival, Germany’s leading independent film festival, is producing.

plane 9 it is, of course, celebrated as the worst movie ever made and a cultural icon,” Somtow said. “Moviegoers have all the lines memorized. I intend to compose the score in the spirit of Ed Wood, with absolute earnestness and high moral intent, as befits the exalted theme about aliens saving humanity from itself, so timely in these, ah, times.”

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“Of course, we don’t intend to produce the ‘worst opera’ in history,” says Neumann, “quite the opposite. The true spirit of plane 9 it comes from the utter sincerity of Ed Wood’s vision and the fact that there’s no amount of ineptitude, lack of money, or mishaps like the star dropping dead before shooting began. [which happened to planned Plan 9 star Bela Lugosi] It could tarnish your optimism and your faith. In a way, it’s a metaphor for all filmmakers and their multiple visions.”

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Sucharitkul has proper classical credentials. One of Thailand’s foremost composers, his work includes Requiem: In Memory of September 11 — commissioned by the Thai government as a gift for the victims of 9/11 — and original operas, including Helena Citronovaabout a Holocaust survivor composed for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, currently playing in the repertoire of the Theater Hof in Germany, and the silent princea “Bollywood opera” about the past lives of the Buddha, the first in a planned series of ten operas, opening first in Houston and then performing in Bangkok, Brno and Bayreuth.

You can see the trailer of Sucharitkul Helena Citronova down.

But Sucharitkul has a dirty secret: he loves 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 one: the 1989 direct-to-video horror title. the laughing deadrecently re-released on a 4K restoration Blu-Ray by Vinegar Syndrome.

“Funny how [my film] it has gone from universally criticized to a cult classic in just four decades,” jokes Sucharitkul.

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Last year, Sucharitkul wrote and starred in The Master: A Symphony of Horror, a homage to Thai horror in which a frustrated classical music conductor (Sucharitkul) goes berserk and starts massacring his students. “It is basically Mr. Holland’s Opussatisfies The Texas Chainsaw MassacreSucharitkul says.

The film had its world premiere at the Oldenburg Film Festival, Germany’s answer to Sundance, in 2021. Sucharitkul brought his youth orchestra the Siam Sinfonietta, whose members play his unsuspecting victims in Teacherto Oldenburg, where they performed music for the film.


Somtow Sucharitkul in ‘The Master’

Courtesy of the Oldenburg Film Festival

Sucharitkul students can also be seen in this year’s awards season contender. Deposit. The Siam Sinfonietta is the orchestra that performs in the final scene of the film. Sucharitkul was a musical consultant on the film.

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I’ve composed epic operas, written trilogies (often accidentally stretching over three volumes), and a novel that made the Horror Writers Association’s “Forty Greatest of All Time” list. [1974’s Vampire Junction]…but I honestly say that an operatic adaptation of plane 9 it will be the summary of my life’s work,” Sucharitkul says.

plane 9 It won’t be the first film to receive the opera treatment. Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore adapted his score for the 1986 David Cronenberg film. The fly in an opera in two acts, with a libretto by David Henry Hwang, in 2008. It premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. American composer Jake Heggie became Tim Robbins Best Picture winner in 1995 Dead man Walking in a 2010 opera, to a libretto by playwright Terrence McNally, which premiered at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.

But given the source material, it’s safe to say that plane 9opera, will be unlike anything classical music has ever seen before.

“I won’t use a single word in the script that didn’t come straight from Ed Wood’s pen,” Sucharitkul says. “If Bela Lugosi’s character will handle a plaintive, tragic aria, when he’s been silent (not to mention dead) throughout the entire production of the movie…that’ll be a nice Easter egg to come.”

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