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Bohemian Rhapsody Writer Anthony McCarten Working on Contemporary Version of The Phantom of the Opera

Acclaimed screenwriter Anthony McCarten has signed on to pen a contemporary screenplay that will be loosely based on the 1910 novel Le Fantome de L’Opera by Gaston Leroux, under the working title, Phantom. The filmmaker, who has garnered fame for scribing such biopics as Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour and most recently, The Two Popes, will also produce the music-driven, big scale movie through his London-based production company, Muse Of Fire Productions.

The film will reportedly be a psychological thriller similar to Black Swan and Misery, and set in the contemporary music scene of England’s capital city. McCarten will maintain Leroux’s depiction of the dark, destructive relationship between the title villain and his young singer protégé, Christine Daaé in his movie adaptation.

However, the screenwriter plans to remain true to modern society’s skepticism of the romanticism that was associated with the story in its previous reiterations.

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He will instead lean into the suspense and horror elements that were a large driving force in Leroux’s book.

McCarten will also serve as a producer on the drama, alongside SB Projects’ Scooter Braun, James Ship and Scott Manson, the latter of whom will serve as the executive producer. They will also produce alongside Denis O’Sullivan and Jeff Kalligheri for Compelling Pictures, which will also serve as the financier.

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While the four-time Academy Award-nominated McCarten will write the script for Phantom, Braun and Shin will secure some of music’s leading songwriters and producers to create new songs for the film, who they haven’t disclosed yet. But they will have a diverse talent pool to choose from, as besides being a filmmaker, Braun also manages some of contemporary music’s biggest talents. The thriller will incorporate contemporary themes into the tracks, which will be sung when a character performs them within the story.

Speaking about the songs and overall film, McCarten has said that the movie “We’re aiming to do something quite groundbreaking with music and the score, and something that may also be new for the artists themselves.” The filmmaker also promised that “We’ll reinvent this story for a new generation.

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Karen Benardello
Karen Benardello
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.


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