The Phantom getting new life on SyFy

The Phantom will serve as a backdoor pilots to a new series, in a model similar to what the network did with Battlestar Galactica.

"The four-hour format allows us to command large dollars around the world for our shows that puts about ($4 million-$6 million) of production on the screen per hour," said Robert Halmi Jr., president and CEO of RHI entertainment. "It gives the network a chance to try a concept with the same production values, if not better, than you'd get for a series."

That the character of the Phantom has been adapted before (such as in the unsuccessful Billy Zane The Phantom) doesn't deter the studio, and in fact, they see it as a good reason to try to re-adapt the character. "That there hasn't been a successful Phantom leaves the door wide open for us, since nobody has made it their own yet," Halmi said.

The Phantom is about a photojournalist transported to a mysterious world occupied by everyone who has ever lived on Earth. The challenge behind the series will be using the historical characters in the series with a modern protagonist, but without making things obvious or comedic. Characters in the story's world will be portrayed by actors in their 20s, so somebody like Napoleon wouldn't be "a balding man with his hand in his coat." "Part of the fun of this is the reveal of who each character is," says MarkStern, executive VP of original programming for SciFi Channel.

The Phantom tv show will air sometime in 2010. It is not known what effect this will have on the movie that was reported earlier HERE.


Concept Art: Billy Zane's THE PHANTOM (1996)

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