Phantom of the silver screen

Category: Phantom of the Opera News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: December 28, 2003 | Publication: Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia) | Author: Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia)
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IT HAS taken almost 15 years, but finally the big screen's new The Phantom of the Opera is emerging from its lair.

This is the first image released from the $110 million production based on Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of the novel by Gaston Leroux, with Scottish actor Gerard Butler as the Phantom and American teenager Emmy Rossum as his beloved Christine.

Director Joel Schumacher is still shooting the production at Pinewood Studios in England.

Lloyd Webber's stage musical opened on the West End in 1986 and on Broadway in 1988.

It has been seen by an estimated 70 million people, grossed about $4.4 billion and will open in China in 2005.

"It is a very close translation of the musical, although Joel has beefed it up into more of an ensemble piece," says executive producer Austin Shaw.

It will feature one new song.

Butler, 34, a trained lawyer whose biggest role to date was in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, clinched the role after an audition at Lloyd Webber's home.

"We gave him a work-out," Shaw said. "He's got the ability. He's got a great voice. Andrew has been adamant that all the cast can actually sing."

Copyright 2003 Nationwide News Pty Limited