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Old 01-06-2009, 05:00 PM   #51
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Default Re: Tim Boyle's The Phantom

I think one of the great things about the Phantom is that he can be taken in so many different directions, more than any other comic book character I know of, and still work perfectly fine.

It seems to me the major inspiration for the new film will be Nolan's Bat-films, which I am pleased with... I think this film needs to go darker both for audiences to take the character as seriously as possible and for it to distance itself from previous film/TV incarnations. We already have two Phantom films that are light-hearted and sunny, and I really like them both.

However, I think it's time to try something new (with the Phantom, that is) for this film, then they can maybe be a bit original and NOT go the Empire Strikes Back-route and make a lighter, more "fun" sequel. The story about how a guy becomes the Phantom should probably be quite moody, given the nature of the subject (father gets brutally killed, son has to take over his legacy knowing he'll likely die in a similiar manner.

Given it's about "destiny" and what it means to be the Phantom, I hope this is a more thoughtful, deeper film than the 1996 version.

Oh, and Ray Stevenson is so cool. I haven't seen War Zone yet (not released here), but he'd make a great Phantom. If this is about the 22nd Phantom, I'd sure like to see him as the 21st. He's big enough, for sure. However, not sure if anybody would cast him as another comic book hero using a skull mark to scare bad guys.

Clive Owen would be great too, as some have suggested.

Also, I am glad to see Boyle agrees with me that Sylvester Stallone should play Hero, the Phantom's horse.

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Old 01-06-2009, 05:02 PM   #52
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Default Re: Tim Boyle's The Phantom

I think one of the great things about the Phantom is that he can be taken in so many different directions, more than any other comic book character I know of, and still work perfectly fine.

It seems to me the major inspiration for the new film will be Nolan's Bat-films, which I am pleased with... I think this film needs to go darker both for audiences to take the character as seriously as possible and for it to distance itself from previous film/TV incarnations. We already have two Phantom films that are light-hearted and sunny, and I really like them both.

However, I think it's time to try something new (with the Phantom, that is) for this film, then they can maybe be a bit original and NOT go the Empire Strikes Back-route and make a lighter, more "fun" sequel. The story about how a guy becomes the Phantom should probably be quite moody, given the nature of the subject (father gets brutally killed, son has to take over his legacy knowing he'll likely die in a similiar manner.

Given it's about "destiny" and what it means to be the Phantom, I hope this is a more thoughtful, deeper film than the 1996 version.

Oh, and Ray Stevenson is so cool. I haven't seen War Zone yet (not released here), but he'd make a great Phantom. If this is about the 22nd Phantom, I'd sure like to see him as the 21st. He's big enough, for sure. However, not sure if anybody would cast him as another comic book hero using a skull mark to scare bad guys.

Clive Owen would be great too, as some have suggested.

Also, I am glad to see Boyle "Very much agreed" with me that Sylvester Stallone should play Hero, the Phantom's horse.

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Old 01-06-2009, 07:18 PM   #53
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Well, there's no question that I definately want a serious and very driven Phantom. What I don't want him to be is brooding. I guess that's what I meant. I would very much like the character to be distinguishable in personality from Bats. I think that's very important.

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Old 01-07-2009, 05:31 AM   #54
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Sure, that I agree with. However, a more brooding, introspective Phantom worked damn well in the DC series by Mark Verheiden, so who knows what the result would have been.

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Old 01-07-2009, 12:20 PM   #55
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Default Re: Tim Boyle's The Phantom

Doesn't The Phantom brood sometimes?

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Old 01-07-2009, 12:40 PM   #56
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Sure, he does, but not to the degree of the likes of Batman (thankfully, IMHO). It often depends on the events he experiences. Moonstone had a really dark story lately, as an example, where he had to face child soldiers and a warlord loosely based on Joseph Kony.

The comic can in general be quite dark at times, with some really deep themes. Lee Falk's earliest stories had a perfect mix of adventure, romance, action, and fun, with a darker, mysterious edge to them. That would be great for a movie too.


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Old 01-07-2009, 01:57 PM   #57
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Does the Phantom has an arch nemesis?

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Old 01-07-2009, 02:00 PM   #58
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The Singh Brotherhood and The Sky Band are the ones I'm most familiar as far as returning villains.

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Old 01-07-2009, 02:08 PM   #59
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Doesn't The Phantom brood sometimes?
I see it this way: Take the movie Troy. I'd say Batman is more like Achilles, whereas The Phantom is more like Hector. That's my view.

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Old 01-07-2009, 02:57 PM   #60
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I'm no asking to have him brood all the time. But sometimes, definitely. Otherwise why have a cave and a throne to sit on and brood in?

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Old 01-07-2009, 03:02 PM   #61
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Interestingly since you mention it, a few scenes with him sitting on the throne and, well, brooding, were cut from the Zane movie. Shame.

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Old 01-07-2009, 10:16 PM   #62
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I think the Phantom could use some darkness. Actually he should. The character is somewhat dark, has always been. I mean he is the ghost who walks. He needs darkness.He definitely broods too. But that doesn't mean he needs to be like Batman and he d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y needs not the Dark Knight treatment. Stay away from anything Nolan, Begins or Dark Knight and this is where this Boyle dude is losing me. He seems too kin on the Dark Knight concept. That scares me.
Talking about his reply to the 44 points in the article, I wish half of it wasn't the useless "point taken – but you'll have to wait to see what we're doing". I mean, might as well have not replied. This can be anything. It can be "well, that's how we are doing it but I am not allowed to tell you.", it can be "We will never do that but I'm trying to be polite and or suck up to the fans and don't want to admit it", or "That's how I was thinking of doing it but now that you have guessed it I may change it all now so I can do an idea only I had". I mean really, might as well had come with a " Hi guys, thanks for all the suggestions. " Would be as useful. But I guess everything is valid in the name of P.R.
About touching bases with the fans, he has to do that. This is all he has. He's a nobody really and he knows all it takes for him to lose his job is for a more established director to snap his fingers and manifest interest and Boyle is gone, maybe even as a writer as the new director may bring his own team of writers as it often happens with these things. All he can do now is try to win the fans support. If he was a big shot you would most likely never see him replying like that. I for one hope some bigger director takes over so we can have a kick ass movie with an original vision and way far away from the Dark Knight.

By the way Walker, which Moonstone issue had the story he had to face child soldiers?


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Old 01-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #63
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funny enough, i'm getting the Billy Zane Phantom flick through Netflix today.

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Old 01-10-2009, 06:35 AM   #64
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I think the Phantom could use some darkness. Actually he should. The character is somewhat dark, has always been. I mean he is the ghost who walks. He needs darkness.He definitely broods too. But that doesn't mean he needs to be like Batman and he d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y needs not the Dark Knight treatment. Stay away from anything Nolan, Begins or Dark Knight and this is where this Boyle dude is losing me. He seems too kin on the Dark Knight concept.

I actually think a BB, TDK-like style would suit the character well. He is an extraordinary being in an ordinary world, and the semi-realism of Nolan's movies are essentially what we've seen done in the Phantom comic since it started.
I don't think there is anything wrong with being inspired by these movies, in fact, I applaud it if they are ambitious enough to try and reach that kind of quality. As I've said before, there are already two light hearted Phantom films that I enjoy, time for something different with the character on screen.

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Talking about his reply to the 44 points in the article, I wish half of it wasn't the useless "point taken Ė but you'll have to wait to see what we're doing". I mean, might as well have not replied. This can be anything. It can be "well, that's how we are doing it but I am not allowed to tell you.", it can be "We will never do that but I'm trying to be polite and or suck up to the fans and don't want to admit it", or "That's how I was thinking of doing it but now that you have guessed it I may change it all now so I can do an idea only I had". I mean really, might as well had come with a " Hi guys, thanks for all the suggestions. " Would be as useful. But I guess everything is valid in the name of P.R.
I read he has in his contract that there is only so much he can say about the plot and so on, therefore, he could probably not comment any further on so many of the points. One of them, as an example, about the Phantom's father having to die in order for the film to work; if he had said "Agreed" on that one, it would have been a spoiler about what happens to the father in the movie.

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About touching bases with the fans, he has to do that. This is all he has. He's a nobody really and he knows all it takes for him to lose his job is for a more established director to snap his fingers and manifest interest and Boyle is gone, maybe even as a writer as the new director may bring his own team of writers as it often happens with these things. All he can do now is try to win the fans support. If he was a big shot you would most likely never see him replying like that. I for one hope some bigger director takes over so we can have a kick ass movie with an original vision and way far away from the Dark Knight.
Actually, Steven De Souza, writer of Die Hard 1 and 2 and many other successful (and often rubbish) action films, took time to reply to fan questions and did interviews with fansites when he was on the old "The Ghost Who Walks" project years ago...
But hey, I get your point. Boyle is little known, and I am not sure if he is right to direct this thing, simply because I've never seen his previous work. If they are to get a more experienced, and likely Aussie, director, I think George "Mad Max" Miller could be a good choice. He has the balls for this type of movie, judging by "The Road Warrior". Let's all just forget about his Justice League project...

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By the way Walker, which Moonstone issue had the story he had to face child soldiers?
It's an excellent trilogy published in Phantom #17, 18 and 19, called Invisible Children, written by the ever excellent Mike Bullock, the best thing to happen to the character since, well, I can't remember that far back. Highly recommended reading!


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funny enough, i'm getting the Billy Zane Phantom flick through Netflix today.
Hope you enjoy it, if you've not already seen it. It's a fun movie that shouldn't be taken too seriously.

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Old 01-10-2009, 09:41 AM   #65
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It is a fun film to watch....one of Catherine Zeta-Jones first feature roles

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Old 01-10-2009, 10:12 AM   #66
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I’m still not sure about the idea of a new Phantom movie, at least one set today. Some characters just belong to their own time and are very hard to update. Although an extreme example try updating Robin Hood for example. It won’t work. The Phantom is a bit like that too although no as bad as he is newer but still difficult, unless you change the character a lot. Like the Phantom 2040. I guess that’s why there has never been an attempt on a Phantom animated series set today. Don’t even mention Defenders of the Earth please.
You need to change so much for the Phantom to work for today’s audience that it would end up being almost another character so they did an alternative take on him instead of trying to update him. But the Phantom in 2040 is barely the Phantom at all. Just the costume. I mean he even becomes invisible. But maybe that’s what they should do if they want to make a modern Phantom movie. Make a 2040 movie. Otherwise some of the concepts of the original Phantom will be hard to sell to a contemporary audience unless they drastically change the character but then the die hard fans will complain. Seems like a no win deal for me. I mean, a jungle hero who rides a white horse? In 2009? How many people want to see that in a general audience? Yes I know he’s in the jungle and a horse is handy but how about giving him a dirty bike or ATV instead? To modernize him you need to think about these details. At least if the horse was black, but a white horse is so, don’t know, corny? Like a prince on white horseback. The costume thing now, we know the tights are a no-no and people are talking armor, but armor in the jungle? What type of armor? A hi-tech armor in the jungle won’t fit. Then he wears an armor, hi-tech or not and he rides a…er..horse? Is he a knight? A hi-tech armor will surely not fit a horse. Or do they give armor to the horse too. Then it will really look like a knight LOL.
Then there’s this guy who lives in a cave, in 2009? “Where have you been dude, have you been living in a cave?”, Phantom: “Uh, yes, why? Is there anything wrong with that” in a Billy Zane campy voice. I mean would work great for campy but. If you have him living on a house and the cave is only his base of operations it becomes too Batman. But somebody living in a cave in a serious movie for today’s audience will be hard to take serious. How about the guns, should he still have his Colt 45s which are more than outdated today or is it okay for him to have Glocks for example?
Another thing I never liked about the Phantom but this is more of a personal thing and has nothing to do with updating the character is the fact he is the commander of the jungle patrol. Sounds silly and corny. It’s like having Batman being the commissioner of police. I would rather have him working with them but not being their boss. Not to mention that this would also imply too much that the Phantom is their ruler, a white guy in a throne and the commander.
But even with all that people are saying they don’t want another light hearted movie but how else could it be? It has to be light hearted and tong in cheek in order to have all this in a movie set in 2009. To have a serious film drastic changes will have to be made. People seem to forget to consider little details like these when talking about a 2009 Phantom. So I think fans will have to choose, light hearted and loyal since the Phantom seems a light hearted character or serious and darker and with a lot of changes.


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Old 01-10-2009, 10:14 AM   #67
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The Phantom comics I read, he wasn't in charge of anything...the Jungle Patrol knew of him and he worked with them when needed

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Old 01-10-2009, 06:16 PM   #68
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so i saw a trailer to one of Tim Boyle's films, The Plex. Man, it looks so amaturish. I know..it's a low budget flick, but I'm just a tad worried about this now. Even though I'm iffy on the guy who is tapped to direct Green Lantern, at least he's been in the biz for a while. Here, Tim Boyle is literally a nobody. Which is great for newbies (it's time for new talent right?) but it's to tell how he is as a writer and a filmmaker thus far.

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Old 01-10-2009, 06:51 PM   #69
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But even with all that people are saying they don’t want another light hearted movie but how else could it be? It has to be light hearted and tong in cheek in order to have all this in a movie set in 2009. To have a serious film drastic changes will have to be made. People seem to forget to consider little details like these when talking about a 2009 Phantom. So I think fans will have to choose, light hearted and loyal since the Phantom seems a light hearted character or serious and darker and with a lot of changes.
I don't agree with you here, Seth.

For one, the Phantom is not merely a jungle guy on a horse, but believed to be an immortal ghost, "The Man Who Never Dies". Few people are sure if he exists at all, and his myth is very much a part of (fictional) African culture among superstitious bad guys. His mystique is essential; without it he is just a guy in tights. The Phantom used his reputation and persona to scare the crap out of antagonists long before Bruce Wayne was even "born"... I fail to see how this is any more silly than a billionaire weapons dealer who manages to build a high-tech armour in a terrorist base in the middle of nowhere, or a geeky teenager receiving weird powers from a radioactive spider.

Second, the Phantom has always been set in modern times, ever since the strip started. So we already have a 2009 Phantom.

The strip evolved as the times evolved, and the Phantom fought terrorism, drug lords and similiar issues long before it became "trendy" for fictional heroes to do so. I don't think the character is in need for a major update, as he has followed the times while still staying faithful to the original concept (albeit thankfully with some tweaking of the "jungle lord" aspect, which Falk basically got rid of in the early fifties).

Writers have always taken the character seriously, unlike the aforementioned heroes, and the comic has never been "camp" or aimed at children. It has followed the times, and has had a much more consistent tone than any other series I know of, yet it has mainained amazing variety in its plots.

The very concept of the Phantom is dark. He was born out of tragedy, when his father and all of his shipmates were murdered by pirates, and swears a crazy as hell sacred oath on the skull of his father's killer, an oath that demands that all his "sons and their sons" will sacrifice their own happiness for what is seen as a greater cause... Bruce Wayne looses sleep over his daddy being killed, but how would he feel if each and every one of his forefathers had been murdered all the way back to the early 1500s?

If you want to see how the character works in today's world, check out the excellent work done by Moonstone Books, or what Mark Verheiden did for the DC series in 1990. Once again, I recommend you read the comic book this movie stole its name from, "The Phantom: Legacy", by Ben Raab and Pat Quinn. It's done in the style of what a Phantom chronicle would really look like, and is a great read.

I always said the Phantom is easily the most usable of all costume heroes, since you can naturally place him in pretty much any time you want to, and I stand by that claim.

BTW, good point about the guns. They could definetely need to be upgraded to newer models.

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so i saw a trailer to one of Tim Boyle's films, The Plex. Man, it looks so amaturish. I know..it's a low budget flick, but I'm just a tad worried about this now. Even though I'm iffy on the guy who is tapped to direct Green Lantern, at least he's been in the biz for a while. Here, Tim Boyle is literally a nobody. Which is great for newbies (it's time for new talent right?) but it's to tell how he is as a writer and a filmmaker thus far.
Well, that film was made for a budget consisting of... nothing.
I can't really defend something I haven't seen, but I know the film got some good reviews. I cross my fingers Boyle is at least the right person to write Legacy.


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Old 01-10-2009, 06:58 PM   #70
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for sure, I would love to be in Mr. Boyle's shoes.

I'm the type who is fairly open minded. So far, 'Legacy' does not have a studio distributor, does it? Because I don't want it to be like Solomon Kane; a film that had outside funding and I've jack squat about it, or its release.

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Old 01-10-2009, 07:04 PM   #71
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So far, 'Legacy' does not have a studio distributor, does it? Because I don't want it to be like Solomon Kane; a film that had outside funding and I've jack squat about it, or its release.
No idea, really. I think it is independently financed, and will hopefully get a studio for distribution later on.

If the cast, script and crew will be as good as they're claiming, I figure that won't be a huge problem. Plus, the fact that it features a superhero-like character known throughout the world will hopefully be enough to make it a more "hot" property among studios than Solomon Kane (isn't that a western? The early poster was damn cool).

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Old 01-10-2009, 08:25 PM   #72
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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.

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Old 01-10-2009, 10:26 PM   #73
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Solomon Kane (isn't that a western? The early poster was damn cool).
Not exactly. Solomon Kane is the creation of Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan. He's a Puritan soldier for hire in the 17th century. Howard actually created Kane in the 1920's before he did Conan. I'm actually convinced that, in a way, Solomon Kane is the originator of sinister, or sinister-like, characters like The Shadow, The Phantom, Batman, The Punisher, Judge Dredd, and ofcourse, Conan. He was the first sworn enemy of evildoers and was very dark. He particularly fought alot of pirates, just like The Phantom.

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:04 PM   #74
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Seth,

I see what you're saying. It's kinda like how I believe a character like The Shadow should not be updated to the present day when the remake gets rolling. Otherwise, it'll be hard. Same with Doc Savage, or whomever. John Carter of Mars as an American soldier fighting in Iraq wouldn't work.

I do believe that if this new Phantom movie had elements of an African Civil War, it might be more relevant to today's audience. It'll be tricky because it might be touchy. Then again, there's some create leeway since The Phantom's homeland is fictitious.

It'll be tough because you don't The Phantom to be too grounded (that's why the Singh Brotherhood needs to be involved), tacky or heavy. It still has to be fun.

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Old 01-11-2009, 07:33 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Seth71 View Post
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. Iím aware of the Phantom legend and lore and I like it. A Phantom movie set in the 1930ís 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 todayís audienceís 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 ďcoolĒ for todayís audience and what is not. Building a hi-tech suit in a terrorists cave is apparently cool as that movie made tons of money. Iím 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, thatís not all he does but that is a big part of the Phantom isnít it? It needs to be dealt with. Canít be just ignored. If it was set in 1930ís yes, there could still be that type of thing but in 2009, realistically? Itís almost like trying to make a true western set in 2009. Wonít 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 todayí audience without some big changes. Although making it period would also be a hard sell, to update him without making drastic changes wonít really work for todayís 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 doesnít 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 wouldnít give much of a damn because itís 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 donít think the character is in need of a major update? To say that is to agree the Billy Zane movie would work for todayís audience. Do you agree with that? Because the Zane movie was pretty much the comic book Phantom without any major changes.
I surely donít 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 wonít 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 ďbestĒ way to update him.
Sorry Seth, I didn't set out to ignore your points. I definetely understand what you're saying, but I do not necessarily agree with ALL of it... I'll try to go through your points in detail when I have more time on my hands than I do right now. There are certain things of the comic that I too feel should probably be updated, and I'll write more about that soon.

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Not exactly. Solomon Kane is the creation of Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan. He's a Puritan soldier for hire in the 17th century. Howard actually created Kane in the 1920's before he did Conan. I'm actually convinced that, in a way, Solomon Kane is the originator of sinister, or sinister-like, characters like The Shadow, The Phantom, Batman, The Punisher, Judge Dredd, and ofcourse, Conan. He was the first sworn enemy of evildoers and was very dark. He particularly fought alot of pirates, just like The Phantom.
Sounds damn cool if you ask me. I hope the movie gets released.

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I do believe that if this new Phantom movie had elements of an African Civil War, it might be more relevant to today's audience. It'll be tricky because it might be touchy. Then again, there's some create leeway since The Phantom's homeland is fictitious.

It'll be tough because you don't The Phantom to be too grounded (that's why the Singh Brotherhood needs to be involved), tacky or heavy. It still has to be fun.
The Moonstone stories actually just featured a Civil War in Bengalla. I doubt the film industry would want to go political with a movie that is about a guy in a costume, though it would certainly make the character stand out from other comic book heroes on screen.

I don't think Singh needs to be involved in this film, other than in the origin sequences. Maybe in a sequel. They were done rather poorly in the Zane film, so they'd need a comeback of some kind.

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