With how popular adaptations of musicals have gotten over the years and Hollywood loving itself some modern reboots that are also fresh retellings, we were bound to get a new take on Phantom of the Opera. It’s been long enough since the 2004 film with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum that it almost feels overdue.
No surprise, then, that there’s a present day take on Gaston Leroux’s 1909 and 1910 novel in the works, simply titled Phantom. While still a musical like the 1986 hit from Andrew Lloyd Weber, it’ll be its own standalone thing. This new version will come courtesy of producers Harvey Mason Jr. and singer-songwriter John Legend. Rather than being set in Paris, the new Phantom will take place in New Orleans, which makes some sense since the French Quarter and all that. It comes from a spec script by screenwriter John Fusco, who previously created the short-lived Netflix series Marco Polo.
“I have long wanted to explore The Phantom of the Opera in a contemporary and new way and in a French Quarter setting,” said Fusco. Because of the city’s heavy creole and voodoo cultures, plus the theatricality of Mardi Gras, it makes sense to him to set an adaptation of Phantom there. Probably doesn’t hurt that Fusco’s also an accomplished blues musician since the late 1970s, having previously collaborated with artists like Steve Vai, Ry Cooder, and blues harp legend Sonny Terry.
Who knows if Phantom will actually be good—movie musicals these days fluctuate wildly in quality, ranging from In the Heights and Encanto to Les Mis and...whatever the hell happened with Dear Evan Hansen—but at the very least, it’ll be interesting with the new setting and time period. Given what else Universal’s planning for their various horror characters, sometimes that’s enough of a gimmick to make a movie work.
Correction 12/11/2021 at 3:23 p.m. EST: This piece has been updated to clarify that upcoming film isn’t a modern adaptation of the Broadway musical, but a separate standalone version.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]
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