Black mask and purple tights, what could go wrong? In 1996 lots of things went wrong for the big screen adaptation of Lee Falk’s beloved superhero The Phantom. It totally bombed at the box office regaining a measly $17 million of it’s reported $45 million budget. This was a time when superheroes weren’t greeted with friendly open arms by viewers and it would be another four years before Bryan Singer’s X-Men would break the mold to bring a certain cool aspect to comic book characters. The Tracking Board are now reporting that a new adaptation could soon be moving forward with producer Mark Gordon (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, Source Code).
Billy Zane was the first to don the purple suit 18 years ago and in 2009 Ryan Carnes (General Hospital) stared as the character for a short lived mini-series which again wasn’t met with positive reviews. Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation) was linked to the role a few years back in a movie entitled The Phantom: Legacy but nothing materialised. Gordon is currently seeking a screenwriter to develop the script which possibly might have franchise potential. No word whether Tim Boyle, who scribed Legacy will be on board.
The Phantom was created in 1936 and is more like a Batman-type vigilante hero who uses his strength, intelligence and superior fighting ability to defeat his foes. With the recently announced Flash Gordon reboot could this be the starting point of a Defenders of the Earth franchise?