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Rumor: Billy Zane's The Phantom is Getting a Sequel?!

by
December 15, 2008

The Phantom

What the Billy Zane?! The Associated Press is claiming that an Australia production company is developing a sequel to the 1996 comic book movie The Phantom called The Phantom Legacy. Apparently the project is already budgeted at $87 million and has a script written by Tim Boyle, of The Big Night Out and Fink previously. The story will be set in the present day and focus on "the father/son relationship, and what it means to be The Phantom" as well as "the concept of destiny." Producer Bruce Sherlock, who was also an executive producer on the original, told the AP that The Phantom Legacy "has the makings of a blockbuster. There's some surprises that will thrill the Phantom fans worldwide." There are still Phantom fans?

For some odd reason, this all seems a bit sketchy, especially considering it's coming from reporters in Australia without any other official confirmation. The article also claims that the movie will likely be shot entirely in Australia, with production set to begin in six to nine months. Apparently they've already started working on casting, but wouldn't reveal any names. For those who might not know, The Phantom was first a comic strip drawn by Lee Falk in the 1930s. In the comic, Kit Walker is the 21st descendant in a family of heroes that dwell in the African jungle and pass the task of fighting injustice onto their sons.

I actually remember seeing The Phantom in theaters way back when. And I remember it being pretty awful. It's one of the few comic book movies that I don't actually own on DVD. There's a reason why it did so bad - and that's because no one wants to actually see a live-action version of The Phantom! Sure he may be great on paper, considering the comic is still published today, but he just wouldn't make a good big screen hero, especially in comparison to Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and so on. This idea sounds as bad as The Pink Panther 2 or Ace Ventura 3. I could say that as long as they make it a darker story or find the right actor it might work, but really, we've got to face reality here - this is going to suck. Thoughts?

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  • werdnafaz
    Billy Zane is the bomb!
  • The best part of The Phantom was that it gave us Catherine Zeta-Jones. And damn was she at her saucy finest in that!
  • Paul
    The fact that you don't think a Phantom film can work shows you've never picked up any of the comics... Check out the latest issues from Moonstone Books in the US, where the Phantom is a lot more modern and fights more relevant real world issues than Batman would ever do. The producers should go that route, if you ask me. Also, there are still plenty of fans for the character... The comic book is published regularly in the US, Scandinavia, Finland, Brazil, India and Australia.
  • Paul
    Well, at least he needs to do some research... For news about all things Phantom, check out http://www.chroniclechamber.com, where yours truly recently wrote an article about the proposed new movie.
  • MrSammich
    I thought it rocked when I was a kid, if they take it seriously and make a real Summer movie out of it it can find a way to gross more than eighty-seven million world wide.
  • Paul
    Agreed. There are rumours Sam Worthington is considered for the title role. I think he'd be perfect.
  • dac_fan
    Granted I havent seen it in 18 years I kind of remember it being good.
  • Hector N
    I don't care about the movie, but the comment you made that the movie might work if they make it darker? Not every movie has to be darker, that seem like a geek trend this days after The dark knight
  • fosho
    its about time......the first one didnt give much
  • They should make The Phantom 2040 into a live-action film.
  • Silence
    I am glad they are considering doing another Phantom movie. Personally, I was a fan of the first film. It would be interesting to see what they could do with it this time around.
  • Lady Aerin
    Since I started reading The Comics Curmudgeon, I've been following The Phantom in newspapers, where it's tremendously silly. I don't think I could take the movie seriously, although that doesn't mean I wouldn't see it. Of course, newspaper strips tend to be rather different than comic books; newspaper Spider-Man is a whiny, incompetent jackass who spends his time watching TV and getting his ass kicked by third-string villains. So where's Mary Worth: The Meddling? That's a movie I'd see.
  • The_Phantom
    Okay. Like I said on Superherohype.com, my screen name has absolutely nothing to do with this movie, but a project that I'm working on. I also think that this is a bad idea but I am willing to listen. I've never read a single issue of the comic but, so I have no idea if it any good. The only way this movie would be saved is if it has a really good story line. Otherwise people are just going to look at the first one that failed at the box office and go, "oh, mmm. I'll wait to DVD." Unless this is is being made to direct DVD. But I highly doubt since it's being made with $87 million dollars.
  • Too Talk
    I'd LOVE to see another Phantom. I really enjoyed the 1st one and if they can green light junk like Cloverfield, Zohan, and Love Guru, certainly there is money left over for this one. This Alex B from the AP has no clue and the only reality I know is that he sucks. And bump to the poster who suggested Phantom 2040, a great cartoon and a great concept. Good call!
  • dave13
    I loved that movie. it's part of my childhood, me and my dad went to see it together! no, it was not the greatest, but it was more of a comic book hero movie in the style of a Zorro film. I also don't think the first one had a very large budget (one can tell by the special effects) but overall it was a fun movie. and the Phantom is a different sort of character. if they do it right, it should be a fun movie. a good description of the original: "Harmless Old-Fashioned Comic Book Adventure" found on imdb : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117331/ In fact, I think I'm going to rewatch it this week.
  • Syphous
    #1 meant to say "Billy Zane? This will bomb!"
  • I vaguely recall this movie sucking. I suppose a reboot is feasible, but a sequel continuation of a bad movie that nobody remembers? Practically every publisher in the world seems to have had publishing rights on this character at one time or another. I guess Moonstone is doing some decent stuff with it, but honestly the character is just so dated and bland compared to our other choices in super heroes, IMO.
  • zubzwank
    The Phantom "wouldn't make a good big screen hero...especially in comparison to Batman, Superman, Spider-man..." Sez you is all! Done right, it could be great. The Zane film actually got a couple of things right, but then, like it's contemporary, The Shadow (1994), it couldn't decide if it was a kiddie movie, an action flick, a dramedy, or what. Not all comic/superhero characters have to be dark. Like the guy above said, that's a trend driven by geeks who think of Spawn #1 as a golden age classic. Spider-man, for example, is not dark. He's a nebbish who got to be a superhero who likes to taunt his villains with wisecracks as he fights them. Iron Man is not dark. He's a rich guy who loves to have fun with his gadgets. Superman? dark? Please. Not everyone is a shadowy (cool) psychopath like Batman. Many villains--and their milieus- can be dark, though. The "dark" element, so precious to many of our young fanboys, can be applied in this way. Get your grim 'n' gritty here, folks! A Phantom movie should be serious, if not "dark." Can the stupid one-liner jokes. Also, get a bigger guy than Zane to play him.
  • A63vettefan
    I thought the Phantom was a great movie and Billy Zane is an excellent actor. A sequel with today's technology would probably turn out really good depending on the screenwriters and cast. True, there is no comparison to modern day super heroes, but that doesn't deny the fact that it has an opportunity to add to a really good story.

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