Mediocre Phantom Movie Gets (Probably) Mediocre Sequel

I don’t remember “The Phantom” at all, except that it starred Billy Zane pre-“Titanic” and was about a guy in a mask and skin-tight purple outfit who fights crime in the jungles. (Yes, purple tights in the jungle. Makes perfect sense to me, too.) The movie wasn’t so hot, which is why I probably don’t remember all that much about it, except the Phantom eventually had to come to the city and fight some gangster types. In his purple skin-tight outfit. And mask. Ahem. So now an Australian company has secured rights to The Phantom’s cinematic escapades and plans a sequel (but probably a reboot, as is the fashion nowadays) with “blockbuster” potential. The whole shebang will cost them an expected $87 million. I hope that’s not in dollars, cause that’s a mighty big chunk of change for a sequel to a movie no one cared about 10 years ago.

The AP has your mediocre news:

Fans of the skintight purple suit rejoice: the Phantom is back. An Australian production company on Monday announced it had secured the rights to “The Phantom Legacy,” a follow-up to the 1996 film, “The Phantom,” which starred Billy Zane as the masked hero who fights evil from his jungle headquarters.

The latest adaptation, which is expected to cost $87 million, will focus on “the Father/Son relationship, and what it means to be The Phantom,” scriptwriter Tim Boyle said in a statement. “The film will be set in the present day and will deal with the concept of destiny.”

I don’t remember what exactly happened in the 1996 movie, but I know it involved some kind of crystal or see-through skull, and that Bruce Campbell wrote about how he was up for the lead in his book “If Chins Could Kill”. Campbell wrote how he thought he would get the part, but ended up losing out to Zane because the studio didn’t think Campbell could carry a franchise.

As it turns out, hiring Campbell might have given the movie the franchise status it needed, as Campbell is now way more popular than Zane among fandom. I don’t think there are conventions where people would line up to get Billy Zane to autograph their girlfriend’s breasts, and if there was, I’d be terrified to attend such an event with such freaks.

Update: Tim Boyle, who is scripting “The Phantom” sequel/remake/whatever, says via his Myspace site that his movie will not be a sequel, but rather one of those ever-popular reboot/remakes.

Well, it’s officially out there. Yes, we’re doing a ‘Phantom’ film.

But there’s one thing I need to set straight as the reporting is incorrect.

This fim is NOT a ‘Sequel’. It is a ‘re-luanch’ or ‘re-boot’ of the comic franchise to the big screen. This film has nothing to do with the 1996 movie.

I wanted to clear this up as people keep asking me this same questions.

I’ll post back in a while to keep you updated.

Be well, take care…

Tim

Feel better, Phantom fans? No? Oh well.

Below: “Did someone say sequel? Sha-weet! Guy can’t live on ‘Titanic’ money all his life, you know…”