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Universal’s New Phantom of the Opera Musical Movie to Continue Standalone Classic Monster Flicks

Universal Pictures are behind some of the biggest blockbuster hits ever to make it to the big screen, with one of their latest box office-busting release being Jurassic World: Dominion, which brought the old and new cast together to make $1.004 billion worldwide. Still, the passion project for the studio over the last half-decade or so has been bringing back the monsters that put Universal on the map.

The project didn’t go as initially planned, with Universal quickly pulling the plug on an extensive plan to make an MCU-like Dark Universe series of intertwined monster flicks. Now, it’s all about standalone movies, with a couple of hits early in the schedule boding well for the future.

One of the more intriguing prospects was announced 14 months ago. Set to be a modern musical retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, the project had several big names attached, but is it ever going to hit the big screen?

A new take on The Phantom of the Opera

Universal may not be going the way of franchise movies that prove to do so well at the Indian box office, like the MCU, Avatar, and Fast and Furious, but there’s always space for solo breakout successes. While attached to bigger universes in their source material, the mostly standalone superhero flicks Black Adam and The Batman hit weekend number-one spots, making over $7.9 million and $6.9 million, respectively. While it only pulled in $23,530 on the weekend, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris managed to top the weekend of November 6, 2022.

The next Phantom of the Opera movie, said to be simply called Phantom, looks to have the making of a film with appeal on its own merits, as opposed to being propped up by an ongoing series. The story was made incredibly popular by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, and now a new take will once again seek to adapt the 1909 French novel. This time, it will be set in New Orleans, seeking to integrate the distinct character and mystique of the Louisiana city.

With a spec from John Fusco that aims to reflect a contemporary reworking of the original Parisian setting alongside the voodoo, music, and Creole culture of the Big Easy, John Legend, Harvey Mason Jr., and Mike Jackson will also be on hand to produce. As news of the spec being acquired broke in December 2021, and with it being a musical, it’d be fair to say that few would have expected production to be in full swing by now. Importantly, though, Universal hasn’t come out to outright cancel the plans, and continues to run the monster movies theme.

The many renditions of the Phantom

Having been in circulation for some 114 years, The Phantom of the Opera has taken many different forms. The 1986 stage musical by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is what has mostly crafted the modern take on the story, being seen by over 140 million people around the world. However, after a run that spans over three decades, the Broadway production will close this year.

From novelisation to stage and screen, The Phantom of the Opera has also made it to even more modern entertainment mediums. The licensed Phantom of the Opera Link & Win slot game is one of the titles available to play at the online casino, building on the original game to include the respin rounds that link to the game’s four bet-based jackpots. The mask made famous by the stage play is of course at the core of the whole game.

Along with becoming a classic novel with its own special edition sold by the Folio Society, The Phantom of the Opera is likely best known on the big screen. There have been many cinematic renditions of the Gaston Leroux tale, including the 1925 silent film from Universal, the 1943 Phantom of the Opera with Claude Rains, and the sadistic 1989 release from 21st Century Film.

A reworking of the Dark Universe

In 2017, plans were laid out with what looked to be an all-star cast ready to bring back Universal’s classic monsters for a franchise to be called the Dark Universe. Instead, 2017’s The Mummy by Alex Kurtzman and featuring Tom Cruise failed to impress critics or audiences. Even with the likes of Kurtzman detailing the monsters to come, the project was unceremoniously scrapped after one movie, with a one-shot approach now being the focus.

The Phantom of the Opera was among those in the works, but the 2021-announced Phantom looks to be the standalone replacement to the other movie that was going to fit into the Dark Universe. Since The Mummy tanked the franchise plans, Universal has enjoyed some success from their monster flicks. The Invisible Man with Elisabeth Moss was a welcomed hit, making over $144 million from its $7 million budget.

Universal also have a new Dracula movie on the way in 2023, with Nicolas Cage playing the famous vampire in Renfield – which comes to cinemas on April 14 – as well as a Wolfman remake. Still in the early stages of development, The Wolfman will reportedly have the star of the hit action thriller movie The Gray Man behind the fur, with Ryan Gosling reportedly still attached and excited for the flick.

It may not be the interlinking franchise planned some six years ago, but the Dark Universe movies look to be moving ahead.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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