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Do you think the Phantom film should have been made earlier?

Globefan
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If the Phantom movie had been made earlier than it was, do you feel it would've been an improvement? Who would you have wanted to be cast had it been made in the early 90s? Schumacher shouldn't have been involved. 

Updated On: 7/22/20 at 04:51 PM
Theatrefanboy1
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I feel wish they would have filmed the original cast and released in mid 90s. Similar to Hamilton’s timeline. And then a little later have made a phantom film. Around 2008 ish or more recently like in the last year or two. I would have loved to see the original cast. But in terms of who to cast though I loved Patrick Wilson. I would have loved to see a Timothee Chalamet or Brenton Thwaites (though I don’t know how well they sing. Honestly if they CANT sing. They CANT be cast.). An earlier casting for Christine. I would have liked to see charolette church.
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joevitus
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A better question should be: do you think the Phantom film should have been made by someone other than Joel Schumacher? The answer is yes. There are some interesting ideas that don't come off because he hadn't the talent for it--such as the opening sequence as the chandelier rises and the viewer is swept back into the past. And other sections are surprisingly dully conceived considering their innate cinematic qualities--such as the voyage through the dressing room mirror, down to the catacombs and across the lake. These moments were more cinematic on stage than they ended up being on film, which is ludicrous.
Maybe had it been filmed early enough, they could have given it to stll-living Ken Russell, who had directed the original music video and always provided his movies with a ton of visual flair and rapid (even rabid) pacing. Even if it was filmed too late for Michael Crawford, they should have gone with another actor--a real actor--not some soap opera hearth-throb type we're supposed to believe is "deformed"  because of the mask and a tiny bit of makeup. When Erik and Raul come off as twins, something's wrong. 

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Scarlet Leigh
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I think that it didn't matter when it was made, it was flawed in who was making it and how they were making it. ALW, bless his soul, is just to attached to his works for his and it's own good. We saw it in Phantom and we see it again in Cats. He micromanages the life out of it. I highly recommend watching Lindsey Ellis' "Joel Schumacher's Phantom of the Opera: A Video Essay." She focuses pretty much entirely on the flaws in the film making. 

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This film led to some really steamy Patrick Wilson/Gerard Butler fanfic on LiveJournal so I vote no.

Updated On: 7/22/20 at 06:23 PM
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MikeInTheDistrict
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I agree with everyone who said it should just have been made by someone other than Schumacher, regardless of when it was made. Phantom4ever in another thread mentioned that the film boosted dipping ticket sales for the Broadway production and kept that production alive, so there's that.

I don't know if the 90s style of filmmaking, especially large period pieces like this that had some elements that could easily become hokey with the wrong tonal balance, would have suited this material. For some reason, films from that era haven't really aged well, and there's just too much in Phantom that can go wrong tonally. It would be completely unnecessary, but I would love to see what the film would look like if it were being made today (by someone other than Tom Hooper). We live in the age of superhero movies and movies where directors and audiences appreciate immense scale, operatic emotional landscapes, and larger-than-life characters/archetypes. The 80s and 90s were much more about filming on the human scale, and that doesn't work for Phantom.

Updated On: 7/22/20 at 07:18 PM
bawoman
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I mean, considering the stars would have been Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman over Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum, I say, hell yeah......Sadly, ALW and SB divorced and it wasnt mean to be

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MikeInTheDistrict said: "I agree with everyone who said it should just have been made by someone other than Schumacher, regardless of when it was made. Phantom4ever in another thread mentioned that the film boosted dipping ticket sales for the Broadway production and kept that production alive, so there's that.

I don't know if the 90s style of filmmaking, especially large period pieces like this that had some elements that could easily become hokey with the wrong tonal balance, would have suited this material. For some reason, films from that era haven't really aged well, and there's just too much in Phantom that can go wrong tonally. It would be completely unnecessary, but I would love to see what the film would look like if it were being made today (by someone other than Tom Hooper). We live in the age of superhero movies and movies where directors and audiences appreciate immense scale, operatic emotional landscapes, and larger-than-life characters/archetypes. The 80s and 90s were much more about filming on the human scale, and that doesn't work for Phantom.
"

I dont think I could posibbly disagree more, lol. So the fact that the audience has been completely dumbed down by cookie cutter super hero bad vs good films would make it better?

The Phantom is an EXTREMELY human story, it wouldnt have the impact the play has had if that was replaced by flashy, over the top , one dimensional script.

Jesus, if anything it makes me glad that it happened before, even in 2004, so that it cant now

 

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I don't regard current audiences with as much contempt or movies like Watchmen, the Nolan Dark Knight trilogy or the Marvel Universe films with as much disdain as you seem to. The ALW Phantom has always been a spectacle, despite its human elements. Leroux's novel was essentially well-written pulp fiction. It has more in common with those superhero movies than horror movies or musicals of the 90s. There's a reason the Yeston/Kopit Phantom never gained as much traction as the larger, more bombastic version.

Updated On: 7/22/20 at 08:04 PM
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MikeInTheDistrict said: "I agree with everyone who said it should just have been made by someone other than Schumacher, regardless of when it was made. Phantom4ever in another thread mentioned that the film boosted dipping ticket sales for the Broadway production and kept that production alive, so there's that.

I don't know if the 90s style of filmmaking, especially large period pieces like this that had some elements that could easily become hokey with the wrong tonal balance, would have suited this material. For some reason, films from that era haven't really aged well, and there's just too much in Phantom that can go wrong tonally. It would be completely unnecessary, but I would love to see what the film would look like if it were being made today (by someone other than Tom Hooper). We live in the age of superhero movies and movies where directors and audiences appreciate immense scale, operatic emotional landscapes, and larger-than-life characters/archetypes. The 80s and 90s were much more about filming on the human scale, and that doesn't work for Phantom.
"

I think this is a superb analysis. 

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joevitus
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Scarlet Leigh said: "I think that it didn't matter when it was made, it was flawed in who was making it and how they were making it. ALW, bless his soul, is just to attached to his works for his and it's own good. We saw it in Phantom and we see it again in Cats. He micromanages the life out of it. I highly recommend watching Lindsey Ellis' "Joel Schumacher's Phantom of the Opera: A Video Essay." She focuses pretty much entirely on the flaws in the film making."

The trouble with this perspective is that Webber had zero input with the film of Superstar, and I'm pretty sure close to zero input with the film of Evita. And the later is jaw-droppingly bad, while the former works for some die-hard fans but not audiences in general (then or now). So I don't think it's about ALW being too hands-on. I'm not sure there is one consistent factor responsible for how consistently disappointing the film adaptations of his shows are.

Globefan
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Schumacher was ALW's choice, and a terrible one. 

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He was also the first choice by Warner Brothers back when they bought the film rights in 1989.

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Schumacher was actually suggested to ALW after Sarah Brightman saw "The Lost Boys" and fell in love with the film.

I remember ALW mentioning that in an interview... possibly on the film's DVD extras.

He also mentioned the plans to make the film in the late 80's with the original three leads, but pressure was put on him not to. There was hesitation that numerous international and touring productions of POTO which were soon to open would suffer as a result of the film's release.

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Honestly? I rewatched it last week and it was better than I remembered. Emmy Rossum's acting holds up, her vocals just don't deliver. Like Minnie Driver, they could have dubbed her. Gerard's acting vocals do NOT hold up, and honestly he didn't play up the sexiness like I remember. Patrick Wilson and Minnie Driver are great, Minnie deserves MUCH more credit for the camp she delivers. The film itself is fine, the callbacks to the framing device with older Raoul aren't necessary, and the weird blurred shots in some production numbers take away from the present spectacle. But overall, the film isn't THAT bad. It's no "Cats" or "Rent", it's on par with maybe "Into The Woods." (The score sounds wonderful with the full orchestra, too!)

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It’s a pity David Bowie never got to sing Phantom or Sweeney Todd.
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I don't know if it should have been made earlier, but if I had cast it and picked the creative team in 2004, it would've looked something like this:

Director - Baz Luhrmann (just imagine that "Masquerade"...)
Choreographer - Rob Marshall

Phantom - Hugh Jackman
Christine - Anne Hathaway
Raoul - Ewan McGregor
Carlotta - Kristin Chenoweth
M. Firmin - Nathan Lane
M. André - Matthew Broderick
Mme. Giry - Glenn Close
Meg Giry - Katie Holmes
Ubaldo Piangi - Frederic Heringes
M. Reyer - Jonathan Pryce
Joseph Buquet - Jim Broadbent
Don Attilio / Passarino - Shuler Hensley

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I really disagree with the comment that Evita is awful, to me it's the best ALW movie adaptation and one of the best movie musicals of the last 30+ years. I'm no Madonna fan but I thought she nailed the role.

Phantom was a victim of its creative team and not it's time. And all movies date to some degree, even the current marvel ones will feel dated someday.

Phantom needed a darker more gothic and less campy tone. It was also unfortunate that it was around the time alw went into his rock star phantom style. All three of the leads were wrong for their roles (I like Patrick Wilson but found him weak in this, the awful wig didnt help). the supporting cast was pretty strong. Like The Producers it also really felt sound stage bound
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g.d.e.l.g.i. said: "I don't know if it should have been made earlier, but if I had cast it and picked the creative team in 2004, it would've looked something like this:

Director - Baz Luhrmann(just imagine that "Masquerade"...)
Choreographer - Rob Marshall

Phantom - Hugh Jackman
Christine - Anne Hathaway
Raoul - Ewan McGregor
Carlotta - Kristin Chenoweth
M. Firmin - Nathan Lane
M. André - Matthew Broderick
Mme. Giry - Glenn Close
Meg Giry - Katie Holmes
Ubaldo Piangi - Frederic Heringes
M. Reyer - Jonathan Pryce
Joseph Buquet - Jim Broadbent
Don Attilio / Passarino - Shuler Hensley
"

To each their own, but almost nothing in that cast list appeals to me. Jackman and Hathaway in the leads sounds awful and it pretty much goes downhill from there.

I thought the 2004 film mostly looked gorgeous. On the downside, no one in the cast had sufficient/appropriate vocal talent for their roles and I didn't care for the lyric and story changes. The orchestra, however, sounded fantastic.

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Updated On: 7/23/20 at 02:53 PM
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Lot666 said: "To each their own, but almost nothing in that cast list appeals to me. Jackman and Hathaway in the leads sounds awful and it pretty much goes downhill from there."

For the record, Hathaway was the first choice. But she couldn't get out of filming a sequel at the time.

"I thought the 2004 film mostly looked gorgeous. On the downside, no one in the cast had sufficient/appropriate vocal talent for their roles and I didn't care for the lyric and story changes. The orchestra, however, sounded fantastic."

You're aren't seriously arguing Patrick Wilson doesn't have the vocal talent for Raoul, are you?

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Have to admit that i quite liked the movie version of Phantom, although it could clearly have been better, with more 'spectacle' as previously mentioned by others.

When I think of other adaptations in recent years, IMO it is FAR SUPERIOR to the movie versions of:

-- RENT

-- The Producers 

-- Nine

-- CATS

-- Annie remake

which are unwatchable to me.

If I go back a little further, I get to A Chorus Line and The Wiz, surely two of the worst movie musicals ever, not to mention Mame, Man of La Mancha and Half a Sixpence.

 

 

bawoman
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g.d.e.l.g.i. said: "I don't know if it should have been made earlier, but if I had cast it and picked the creative team in 2004, it would've looked something like this:

Director - Baz Luhrmann(just imagine that "Masquerade"...)
Choreographer - Rob Marshall

Phantom - Hugh Jackman
Christine - Anne Hathaway
Raoul - Ewan McGregor
Carlotta - Kristin Chenoweth
M. Firmin - Nathan Lane
M. André - Matthew Broderick
Mme. Giry - Glenn Close
Meg Giry - Katie Holmes
Ubaldo Piangi - Frederic Heringes
M. Reyer - Jonathan Pryce
Joseph Buquet - Jim Broadbent
Don Attilio / Passarino - Shuler Hensley
"

Not a bad list maybe 10 years ago or 15, when the film was made, but now? Most of those people are way too old now for their parts/

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Katie Holmes was the front-runner for Christine before Anne Hathaway was attached before she had to drop out 

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bawoman said: "Not a bad list maybe 10 years ago or 15, when the film was made, but now? Most of those people are way too old now for their parts/"

Good thing I said "if I had cast it and picked the creative team in 2004" then. Try reading a little more closely next time.

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When the film was originally announced, Crawford and Brightman were bithbattached. There was a double page announcement published in Variety circa 1990. I believe that had that film come into fruition, it would have further highlighted Brightman's shortcomings as an actress. Additionally, Schumacher was still attached, even back then. The direction of the 2004 film is the weakest link in a very weak chain. Hiring Schumacher was Webber's biggest mistake.