Monster movies are slowly but surely trying to make a comeback as The Invisible Man has already impressed a lot of people with its direction, while The Mummy unfortunately did not. The Phantom of the Opera has always felt like a very understated movie when compared to the rest of them since it’s not about an ancient evil or something that’s strong enough to rip and tear people apart, but about a man that’s essentially disfigured, is physically stronger than many, and haunts an opera house. There’s also the obsessive love that he shows towards a young soprano that is taken on as a performer, which is a big part of the story since otherwise he’s just a tortured individual that happens to enjoy the sounds of the opera and being a general and sometimes homicidal nuisance. As David James of We Got This Covered has revealed though the story will change a bit this time since the Phantom is being brought up to speed and into the present, and will be featured in New York instead of Paris, as the original story was. If you grew up watching monster movies then you know very well that the Phantom of the Opera was one of those that did get a lot of play back in the day, but was still never quite considered to be on the same level as stories such as Frankenstein or Dracula or even The Wolfman. Lon Chaney helped to make this movie popular in 1925, while his son would later go on to become yet another fine addition to the horror genre as The Wolfman.
Maybe it’s the apparent lack of action in the Phantom story, or the fact that it doesn’t involve any excessive gore or supernatural monsters, or even a mad scientist, but the story is haunting all the same since it’s very human in its design and less reliant on anything that can’t be explained by practical means. There was a version of the story that came out in 1989 that was set in Manhattan and starred none other than Robert Englund in the lead role, meaning that of course it was gory as hell and kind of pulled away from the overall romance of the story. In a way this story is more about obsessive longing than actual romance as the Phantom attempts to seduce the young woman whose voice he falls in love with, only to realize that she can’t possibly love him because one, the character is horribly disfigured, and two, he’s a bit on the crazed side and not altogether sane. These elements, when put together, are part of the base that makes up a horror movie and for the Phantom they’re definitely important parts that need to be included.
As of now though the movie doesn’t have a director or a cast so there’s plenty that still needs to be done and elements that need to come together in order to make it work. In terms of monster movies this is one of those that doesn’t tend to dip all the way into the dark but definitely floats about like a mist through which anything could come traipsing at any moment. The one thing about bringing it to New York is that the sewer system that the Phantom inhabits is rife with stories and myths already, and creating one more wouldn’t be a big deal since for a monster movie it’s perfect. Plus, given the history New York and the many different origins of so many older buildings it’s easy to think that there could be feasible stories concocted about old opera houses that have undergone massive renovations only to leave parts of the old building as they were in order to keep costs down or perhaps pay homage to those that came before. In a sense, writing such a story could have many enticing twists and turns before one even managed to get to the idea of the Phantom being cast out by society. Plus, there is the idea that in some versions he’s been alive for much longer than many human beings and has acquired some form of immortality, as in the 1989 version. However it’s handled though this could be an interesting version of the story and one that has been a long time in coming since the Phantom of the Opera isn’t exactly a story that’s kept its popularity all that well throughout the years.
What you can expect to see in the coming months no doubt is more coverage on this as the story continues to develop and articles continue to roll on who might be best to play certain parts and why. That’s kind of a given since the two main parts that need to be filled could be taken on by a large number of actors at this point.