John Legend is updating a familiar story with a modern twist. The award winning singer is producing a modern musical update on The Phantom of the Opera.
Hold your horses, we’re talking about the Universal horror film, not the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Legend is producing Phantom through his Get Lifted Film Co. alongside his partner Mike Jackson and Emmy nominated producer Harvey Mason Jr.
Producers picked up a spec script by John Fusco, which is said to be based in New Orleans.
“I have long wanted to explore The Phantom of the Opera in a contemporary and new way and in a French Quarter setting. New Orleans is not only known as America’s most haunted city, but the music, Creole culture, voodoo mystique and the pageantry of Mardi Gras, inspire a natural adaptation of the original Paris setting,” said Fusco in a statement.
Every few years Universal tries to bring back its classic monsters in a new universe, most recently in The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. That movie was supposed to kick off the Dark Universe franchise, but it flopped so hard all the other films were scrapped.
It makes sense they would come back to The Phantom of the Opera, since it was the studio’s first major hit as a 1925 silent film starring Lon Chaney.
Now Universal is trying again with this new project produced by Legend.
In case you’re not one of the millions who has seen the stage musical, the story revolves around a masked stranger who hides in the shadows of a Paris opera house, becoming obsessed with a talented understudy, and murdering all who get in the way of his plan to make her a star.
Underneath the memorable songs, he’s really a creepy stalker who almost kills her, but we don’t talk about that part.
We have a few questions about this project. Will Legend play the Phantom? Will there be all new music or will some of Webber’s songs be included? Will it be more horror or musical, because we’ve never seen a movie successfully be both?
We were pleasantly surprised by Legend’s work in Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, so we wouldn’t be totally opposed to him taking on the lead.