NIGHTWISH's long-awaited "Imaginaerum" film — based on the band's album of the same name — will be released theatrically in Finland on November 23.
The movie will have its premiere on November 10 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, where the audience will be treated to both a full-scale NIGHTWISH concert and the first-ever public screening of the movie.
Eagerly anticipated around the world, "Imaginaerum" creates a musical fantasy world in the vein of David Lynch, Neil Gaiman, and Cirque du Soleil. The movie is an innovative mixture of story-telling and music, an extraordinary tale of the power of imagination… and what's ultimately important in life.
Shot and post-produced in Canada, the movie was directed by Stobe Harju and produced by Solar Films, and features appearances by all NIGHTWISH members. The screenplay is based on a wild vision that Tuomas Holopainen, the mastermind of the band, devised after the album "Dark Passion Play" came out in 2007.
"I though of how we could take our expression that had already became pretty ambitious and grandiose to the next level, and that’s when I knew I wanted to tell a story, and to tell it with love and piety," said Tuomas.
According to Holopainen, finishing the movie has been an eventful and challenging journey that has sometimes demanded superhuman dedication from the production crew.
"I want to already thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. Together we've managed to create something innovative, strange, and timeless," Holopainen said.
The "Imaginaerum" screening at Hartwall Arena will be preceded by a show by the musicians NIGHTWISH themselves in what will be their last concert in Finland this year.
The official soundtrack of the movie, "Imaginaerum By Nightwish: The Score", will be released on the day before the premiere — Friday, November 9. The album features 13 grandiose, unreleased re-interpretations of "Imaginaerum" tracks by Petri Alanko.
Several new photos from the "Imaginaerum" movie shoot can be found at this location.
"Imaginaerum" is one of the projects which received grants from the Finnish government institution called the Finnish Film Foundation. The movie, directed by Stobe Harju, about an old man on his deathbed who glimpses a childhood dream in which he refuses to grow old, and fights aging with his imagination, reportedly got $575,000 toward its $3.7 million budget.
During a September 2011 interview with Petri Silas of Finland's Soundi magazine, NIGHTWISH mainman/keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen explained that all the filming for the "Imaginaerum" movie was done in Canada with mostly Canadian actors/actresses. Post-production took place in Canada and Finland. He aso revealed the names of the actors who have two of the main roles in the film: Marianne Farley and Quinn Lord.
Speaking to Loudwire, Holopainen stated about the plot of the "Imaginaerum" film, "Basically it's about this old guy who used to be a composer and he's really sick; he's lying on his death bed in a hospital and he's going through his life, through his dreams — that's the basic storyline. It's all about praising life and life's beauty, imagination and all the strife and the bad stuff we have to face.
"[The storyline] came from the director; I just had the twelve ideas, the twelve visions. He basically wrote the script and storyline around those originally visions and the only one we had to leave out was the 'Ghost River' part, because we didn't have the finance to realize that vision."
Asked if the band appears in the film at all, Tuomas said, "A little bit, we are seen in two different scenes as a band, playing in the background. That's something that I really emphasized to the director, 'Please don't put the band into the movie,' because we want to do a believable story and we have no idea how to act. We are not actors so if your give us some lines and we tried to act, it would look goofy. He insisted to put us into the movie because it's our brainchild, so we're just playing in there as a band; it's a good compromise."
"Imaginaerum" film cast:
* Francis X. McCarthy
* Quinn Lord
* Marianne Farley
* Joanna Noyes
* Ilkka Villi
* Keyanna Fielding
* Ron Lea
* Victoria Jung
* Hélène Robitaille
* Stefan Demers
* Anette Olzon
* Marco Hietala
* Tuomas Holopainen
* Emppu Vuorinen
* Jukka Nevalainen
The "Imaginaerum" album was released in the U.S. on January 10 via Roadrunner Records.