Category: Phantom of the Opera News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: June 26, 2004 | Publication: Empire | Author: Editors
August 2004 Edition - Gerard Butler must have balls the size of Gibraltar. As the titular anti-hero of Joel Schumacher's version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's gothic musical, he's taken on what could be seen as a poisoned chalice. For The Phantom of the Opera has a fanatical following to rival the Taliban (obviously with fewer guns and less facial hair) and since the Scot's casting was announced, many have been actively campaigning against Butler- simply because he's not their beloved Michael Crawford, who made the role his own on stage...
" I know, I know, I know," sighs Butler, when Coming Soon reminds him of the expectation awaiting his stab at the tragic, disfigured Phantom, whose love for the beautiful Christine (Emmy Rossum) leads to murder, revenge, and many a power ballad. "I hope they're going to like me. That's very exciting; it's also terrifying. But to be honest, I gave it my best shot."
It's Butler's first lead, and despite the prosthetics hell- "That, to me, is proper torture"- he's sure that Schumacher's fondness for camp operatics bodes well.
"You don't want to say too much, but I will say that I'm very, very, hugely quietly confident." Which, frankly, is pretty confident. "I've seen a ten-minute preview and I could honestly watch that from now to december on a loop and I'd never get bored. It's the best preview I've ever seen."
Time will tell if the rest of the flick lives up to that. But if those legions of fan-toms agree, this could be one of the biggest films of the year- and Oscar might beckon.