Walker, I think you either misread my post or chose to completely ignore my points.
I never said the Phantom is merely a jungle guy in a horse or that his concept is any worse than that of other superheroes. I said he is harder to update for a contemporary audience from a commercial point of view specially. I’m aware of the Phantom legend and lore and I like it. A Phantom movie set in the 1930’s would have been no problem as he was created to inhabit that environment. But lots of the concepts which make up the Phantom have fallen out of fashion and from today’s audience’s taste really. It has nothing to do with what is possible, believable or interesting for you or me. It has to do with what is “cool” for today’s audience and what is not. Building a hi-tech suit in a terrorists cave is apparently cool as that movie made tons of money. I’m not sure a man living in a cave and riding a white horse to chase bad guys through a jungle in 2009 will be as cool if at all. Yes, that’s not all he does but that is a big part of the Phantom isn’t it? It needs to be dealt with. Can’t be just ignored. If it was set in 1930’s yes, there could still be that type of thing but in 2009, realistically? It’s almost like trying to make a true western set in 2009. Won’t work unless drastic changes are made and in the end it will never really be a western. Get the point?
I was not putting the Phantom character down. If you read it that way you misunderstood me. I was just pointing out the difficult job that will be updating him and making him interesting for today’ audience without some big changes. Although making it period would also be a hard sell, to update him without making drastic changes won’t really work for today’s audience.
Yes, the phantom is set in modern times IN THE COMICS. In the comics it works. But in the comics Batman wears tights and his underwear outside his pants, Wonder Woman fights crime in bikinis and Iron Man had a suit case that flies to him where he is bringing his armor so he can transform. But that just doesn’t work on film. To ignore the commercial challenge that is to bring the Phantom into 2009 is to be in denial. On the top of all I said, which curiously you chose to only address the guns part and ignore the rest for some reason but I would still love to hear your opinion about each of the other points, but on top of all that, the Phantom is also set in Africa which most audiences wouldn’t give much of a damn because it’s harder to identify with a hero who is protecting somebody else. This is specially true for American audiences. This is another thing they will have to overcome and probably one of the reasons why the Billy Zane movie moved to NY for a good portion and why they had the supernatural element of the 3 skulls so the Phantom would be saving the world and not just some jungle nobody has ever heard of.
So yes, the Phantom is not merely a jungle guy on a horse but this is part of what he is and it needs to be dealt with.
So you don’t think the character is in need of a major update? To say that is to agree the Billy Zane movie would work for today’s audience. Do you agree with that? Because the Zane movie was pretty much the comic book Phantom without any major changes.
I surely don’t agree it would work today. It bombed back then and it would bomb even worse today. The Phantom is in desperate need of a major update.
It is a good comic character but it needs work in order to work for a 2009 audience.
Phantom fans only won’t be enough to pay for the movie. So changes will have to be made or it will fail again as the Zane film did. The earlier we get over that and put that behind the earlier we can start discussing the “best” way to update him.