Good news, everyone: An Australian production company has secured the rights to produce a sequel to The Phantom.
Though that news would produce mild confusion in the vast majority of people--"A sequel to what?"--to the literally dozens of people who spent good money back in 1996 to see it, the notion that someone wants to produce a follow-up to that misbegotten Billy Zane vehicle can only produce jaw-dropping, eyeball popping disbelief. "A sequel to that piece of shit?" they would cry, rending their garments and crying in despair to the indifferent heavens. "Why? For the love of God, WHYYYY?"
And while the concept of waiting for well over a decade to produce a continuation of a franchise that nobody wants to see may seem like a bad idea to civilians, to veterans of the motion picture industry, no idea is too stupid to warrant a follow-up. For instance, even though there had already been two movies produced involving B-level Marvel Comics character The Punisher, and both of those movies had flopped, earlier this month we were treated to The Punisher: War Zone, the third big screen outing for the gun-toting sociopath, and guess what? It flopped, too!
Of course it did, because nobody cares about that particular character and nobody has the money to waste on glorified B-movies. But some shadowy international consortium had the rights to the character, and a pile of money they couldn't legally spend on anything else, so...sure, why not? Another Punisher movie.
As for The Phantom, well, the AP story about it breathlessly explains that producer Bruce Sherlock "won" the rights to produce the sequel, as if filmmakers had been locked in some crazy bidding war to make another movie about a guy in purple tights and stripey underwear.
The sad thing is, they might have been.