Given that virtually every recognizable comic book property under the sun has either been adapted, remade or rebooted at least once since the boom really kicked off in the early 2000s, it’s a bit of a surprise that nobody’s decided to take another crack at The Phantom.
Sure, the 1996 version starring Billy Zane may have flopped at the box office after barely recouping half of the $45 million budget, and reviews were mixed right across the board, but it’s since gone on to find something of a second life as an unsung and unabashedly pulpy cult classic.
Zane initially signed a multi-picture deal for sequels that didn’t happen, but in an interview with ComicBook, the actor admitted he’d love to suit up again to hand off the role to a younger actor in a legacy sequel.
“To be honest, a Phantom return would be quite interesting. 20 years later, it’s a father-to-son business and a bit of a hand-off. And I dug him because he didn’t have superpowers, really. It was just kind of super-humane. Again, that moral compass could be a nice reminder. So, right out of the comic universe, I’d say that character would be a hoot.”
Paramount toyed with the notion of a second installment back in 2008, before it was instead revealed that a reboot was in the works. We haven’t heard anything on a fresh take since 2014, though, but you’d have to think there’s got to be a streaming service out there willing to take a punt on The Phantom, especially when legacy sequels are all the rage these days.