Rumor: Billy Zane's The Phantom is Getting a Sequel?!
by Alex Billington
December 15, 2008
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?