A new musical adaptation of The Phantom Of The Opera is heading to the big screen – but it’s nothing to do with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Universal has snapped up a new project, that will see it funding a new musical take on Phantom Of The Opera. But it’s not the same musical take that brought huge success to musicals impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Instead, this one was a script by John Fusco that drew Universal’s attention, resetting the story to New Orleans, and going by the name of Phantom. It’s part of its range of films digging into its classic horror movies that laid the foundations for the studio, and notably the silent 1925 Lon Chaney-headlined telling of the story scored it a sizeable hit.

Harvey Mason Jr and John Legend are going to be working on the movie, that thus far doesn’t have a director or casting attached. We just know that the project exists, that it’s going to be more in keeping with the classic horror roots than the Broadway and West End musical hit (which in turn was adapted for the screen by the late director Joel Schumacher).

The new film comes at a strange time for musicals. We’ve certainly been blessed with some wonderful examples in the genre over the last couple of years, although that hasn’t always translated to box office success. Plenty has been written about Cats, whilst In The Heights was the last musical to receive good reviews but not ignite audience interest. Now, reports from this weekend that even the heady combination of Steven Spielberg and West Side Story has failed to make a big splash, taking just a $10m haul from American cinemas.

We’ll keep you posted as we hear more on this one. Universal will be hoping for better box office for its project…

THR

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