Update: A Sequel to The Phantom in the Works

An Australian production company on Monday announced it had secured the rights to The Phantom Legacy, a follow-up to the 1996 film, The Phantom, which starred Billy Zane as the masked hero who fights evil from his jungle headquarters.

According to The Associated Press, the adaptation is expected to cost $87 million and will focus on “the Father/Son relationship, and what it means to be The Phantom,” scriptwriter Tim Boyle said in a statement. “The film will be set in the present day and will deal with the concept of destiny.”

Producer Bruce Sherlock, who also served as executive producer of the first “Phantom” movie, said the new film will be a marked improvement over its predecessor.

“It has the makings of a blockbuster,” Sherlock said. “There’s some surprises that will thrill the ‘Phantom’ fans worldwide.” Sherlock’s Sydney-based Sherlock Symington Productions won the rights to the film.

The movie will likely be shot entirely in Australia, with production set to begin within six to nine months, Sherlock said. Producers are in talks with several “top talent” Australian and American actors, Sherlock said. He declined to provide names.

UPDATE: It looks like the report from The Associated Press above wasn’t completely accurate. Tim Doyle says on his official MySpace page that “This fim is NOT a ‘Sequel’. It is a ‘re-launch’ or ‘re-boot’ of the comic franchise to the big screen. This film has nothing to do with the 1996 movie.”

The film is also not titled “The Phantom Legacy” but rather The Phantom: Legacy. Here’s an update from Doyle on the production:

Now that we’ve sort of got those ‘Sequel’ rumors under control, I guess I can start talking about what we’re doing and where the project is at.

First of all, I’ve got to say – this is a very exciting time. Being able to bring the first masked comic superhero back to the big screen is an absolute honor. I’ve been researching The Phantom intensely for the last year or so and I’ve been working with the support of King Features Syndicate to try and bring you the tightest possible film. Yes, this is a new look at the comic book hero, but rest assured – He wont be ‘heavily gadget man’ (as that is another comic book hero named Batman) and he wont be an ‘angry mob killer’ (as ‘The Punisher’ -Frank Castle has been made into a film 3 times – remember the Dolph Lundgren film – that too was shot in Australia… old skool). He will be, without doubt ‘The Phantom’. A man who has sworn an oath to protect – but at what cost?

Source: The Associated Press