‘The Phantom’ Coming Back to the Silver Screen
The Phantom never dies. From father to son, the legacy is passed on, protecting Africa from evil in all forms dating back 21 generations. A second generation live-action film about the ageless hero was announced by Symington Productions according to the Associated Press.
Producer Bruce Sherlock obtained the rights to explore the themes in The Phantom Legacy. He had been an executive producer on the 1996 Paramount Pictures Phantom, which starred Billy Zane as the Ghost Who Walks. The movie suffered from poor marketing but was better than most recall.
The new film, to be shot down under where Symington is based, is budgeted at $87 million and screenwriter Tim Boyle said the movie will focus on the “Father/Son relationship, and what it means to be The Phantom. The film will be set in the present day and will deal with the concept of destiny."
"It has the makings of a blockbuster," Sherlock told the AP. "There’s some surprises that will thrill the Phantom fans worldwide." No casting was announced but production should begin in the second half of 2009 for 2010 release.
The Phantom is also being developed by Daniel and Charles Knauf for Sci Fi Channel, exploring the next generation Phantom whose father dies before there could be any training.
“In our story, we have a break in the lineage. The 22nd Phantom, the one we all know and love, his wife and his son died in an automobile accident. So when he died, there was no one to take over,” Daniel Knauf explained. “But it turns out the son survived and has been raised by a foster family and has no idea who he is. They find him through a fluke when he’s arrested on a trespassing charge, and he ends up getting his DNA into CODIS [the national DNA database]. The people in Bangalla who are still part of the Jungle Patrol — which we call Bpaa-Thap (which literally translates to ‘Jungle Patrol’) — they find him and decide to bring him in and train him. So it’s a whole new game for this kid. So he’s very conflicted, as far as who he was and who he thinks he is.”
Meantime, the character remains published in comic strips around the world in addition to Moonstone’s long-running comic book about to be rebooted in 2009. Dynamite Entertainment also has the rights for a Phantom comic book and has brought in Alex Ross too help modify the look although their incarnation is at least two years away.
The Phantom, introduced in 1936, is considered by most as the first costumed adventure hero, the first super-hero of the 20th Century. Written by Lee Falk from 1936 through his death in 1999, the feature has been a global sensation.