John Legend to Produce Film Version of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’

Image: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

EGOT winner John Legend is set to produce a modern, musical adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, Deadline reports.

Along with Emmy and Grammy-nominated producer Harvey Mason Jr. and producers Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius, Legend will be updating the classic horror story with a brand new musical update set in New Orleans.

Written in 1909 and 1910 by Gaston Leroux, Phantom of the Opera recounts the story of a masked murderer stalking the opera in Paris who tragically falls in love with a talented understudy whom he tries to bend to his will and make a star, killing anyone who steps in his way.

Noted screenwriter John Fusco, who wrote the treatment for the project, expressed his excitement about reimaging The Phantom of the Opera through the rich cultural lens of the city of New Orleans.

“I have long wanted to explore The Phantom of the Opera in a contemporary and new way and in a French Quarter setting,” Fusco said in a statement. “New Orleans is not only known as America’s most haunted city, but the music, Creole culture, voodoo mystique, and the pageantry of Mardi Gras, inspire a natural adaptation of the original Paris setting.”

“I was in New Orleans with Costner, Woody, and John Lee Hancock and found myself reconnecting with my old musical haunts, and the next generation of my music cronies,” he added. “I began playing with them again, writing music and recorded two albums and during the pandemic, I reflected on that journey and wanted to bring the screenwriting together with the songwriting and that music with a full-out movie musical.”

Continuing his foray into filmmaking, Legend’s Get Lifted Films most recently produced two documentaries including HBO’s The Legend of the Underground, which premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film festival, and A Crime on the Bayou. Other credits include the award-winning docuseries Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children and 40 Years a Prisoner.

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