A Modern New Orleans-Style 'Phantom of the Opera' by John Legend and Universal Pictures
The Phantom of the Opera has returned...
This time, however, it takes place in modern-day New Orleans.
John Legend, the singer of All of Me, is also producing. Here's everything we know so far about the new musical adaptation of the classic Broadway story.
Universal has picked up the script by John Fusco, the screenwriter behind Hidalgo (2004), Young Guns (1988), The Forbidden Kingdom (2008), and The Highwaymen (2019), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He also wrote the non-Britney Spears version of Crossroads, the 1986 coming-of-age musical starring Ralph Macchio, which he directed.
According to THR, mega-talent John Legend is planning to produce a film.
Along with Legend, Harvey Mason Jr., who produced Dreamgirls in 2006, as well as Sing and the Pitch Perfect films, will produce.
Get Lifted Film Co's Mike Jackson is also a producer.
Finally, the project's executive producer is Ty Stiklorius.
The new version, dubbed simply Phantom, immerses viewers in the vibrant culture of New Orleans.
In a statement, writer Fusco said, "I've long wanted to explore The Phantom of the Opera in a contemporary and new way, and in a French Quarter setting."
"Not only is New Orleans known for being America's most haunted city, but its music, Creole culture, voodoo mystique, and Mardi Gras pageantry inspire a natural adaptation of the original Paris setting."
The Phantom of the Opera is already a part of Universal's illustrious filmography.
A memorable 1925 version starring Lon Chaney was produced by the studio.
Many people consider it to be the definitive version of the terrifying story.
The original Gaston Leroux horror novel, published in 1910, is about a disfigured "phantom" who falls in love with a promising young singer while haunting the opera house's halls.
Furthermore, as his obsession grows, his intentions become murderous.
The haunting silent film was directed by Rupert Julian in 1925.
Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, and Carla Laemmle, among others, made appearances.
The Phantom of the Opera, produced by Universal, is still considered a classic.
It also belongs to the studio's pantheon of legendary monster films.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Broadway musical adaptation was a huge hit, and a film adaptation starring Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, and Patrick Wilson was released in 2004.
Fusco cited jazz and R&B influences in his work on the Phantom film, according to Deadline.
"This is set in modern-day New Orleans' sultry nightlife scene, the world of jazz, R&B, neo-Soul, and funk," Fusco told the publication.
"The French Quarter, where New Orleans is not only known as America's most haunted city, but also for its music, French Creole culture, voodoo mystique, masquerade pageantry of Mardi Gras, just lent itself to a natural adaptation of the Paris setting, and a story about revenge, unrequited love, and mystery," says the author.
In short, there are a lot of Phantom of the Opera adaptations out there, but John Legend is currently working on one that is unique and fresh, with a completely different setting.