Gerard Butler’s Worst Movie Is Getting A Remake

By Tyler Pisapia | 1 month ago

gerard butler phantom of the opera

Gerard Butler has made a lot of really terrific movies, but even the most objective of fans has to know that he’s also made a lot of straight-up duds. Such was the case in 2004 when he starred as the titular phantom in an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic play The Phantom of the Opera.  Now, another creative team is hoping to resurrect the story and brush off some of the stink that Gerard Butler’s adaptation put on it.

According to Deadline, a new adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera (sans Gerard Butler) is in the works with Universal Pictures at the helm. The film, which is tentatively titled simply Phantom, includes producers Harvey Mason Jr of Harvey Mason Media, and John Legend and his Get Lifted Film Co. producing partner Mike Jackson.

However, unlike Gerard Butler’s movie, which sought to do a film adaptation of the famous play, Phantom is taking a mental step backward and kicking things back to the 1910 Gaston Leroux novel Phantom of the Opera. For those unfamiliar, Andrew Lloyd Webber merely adapted the play into a hit musical whose chilling organ score remains one of the most haunting melodies in modern memory. 

That’s not the only change that the new adaptation of the story plans to make with regards to the Gerard Butler movie. Instead of being set in Paris in the 1800s, the new version of The Phantom of the Opera will instead be set in the French Quarter of New Orleans in the modern-day. It makes sense given that the original play is inextricably linked to music. Since the new version will apparently cut “Of The Opera” out of the title, it seems that perhaps the new version could have more to do with jazz or another genre of music that calls NOLA home. What better place to set a drama all about love, loss, and the power that music has to create a haunting than one of America’s most ghost-riddled places, the French Quarter? 

It also seems like a smart move to get as much distance from Gerard Butler’s version of the story. While there’s no need to throw shade at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s immensely popular adaptation, which can have its life in theaters throughout the world forever, there’s a certain attitude of “let’s move on,” that was left in the film version’s wake. While it has rebounded among audience members in recent years thanks to the increased popularity of Gerard Butler, Phantom of the Opera sits at an abysmal 33 percent critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It wasn’t exactly a box office hit either. While definitely profitable, earning roughly $150 million worldwide, its $70 million budget doesn’t exactly scream “let’s milk some more out of this franchise.” 

Gerard Butler swung for the fences in his 2004 adaptation of the play. The movie was not well received, but that had less to do with his performance and more with some of the bold and, let’s go ahead and say “kooky” decisions made to artistically adapt the play. This otherwise simple melodic play was adjusted in very odd ways for an early 2000s audience that was drenched in bad horror remakes at the time. While it stands as a time capsule of what not to do, so do a ton of other bad movies made at that time. In an effort to pretend that movie didn’t happen and still allow this timeless story to have life, it seems a modern retelling in New Orleans might be the perfect way to go to push the story along for another generation.