Lee Falk's comic strip about a seemingly immortal jungle hero and foe of pirates got an entertaining serial in the 1940s. In 1996, Billy Zane put on a purple body suit for his turn as Kit "The Phantom" Walker. (Did that movie really only come out in 1996? Doesn't it seem like it came out in like 1988 or something?) Now the story is getting a reboot from scriptwriter Tim Boyle, whose credits up till now include movies you've likely never seen. Do The Plex and Fink! ring a bell for you? No? Yeah, same here. An Australian production company has secured the rights for Falk's tale, and expects the budget to be $87 million. Ironically, they will have to become pirates to get the money.
Why reboot the franchise at all? It looks like Boyle wants to give the Phantom an Emo edge. His version, tentatively titled The Phantom Legacy, will be about a son who doesn't want to take up his father's legacy frisking about the trees, thwarting the bad guys. He'll struggle against his destiny. Instead of a mask, he'll wear black eyeliner that melts from the combined forces of his angst-filled tears and the high jungle humidity.
Boyle clarifies to Dark Horizons that the Phantom, his lady Diana Walker, and their kids will be in the movie. (One of those kids will be the reluctant successor, it would seem.) He says the tone will be "real world and gritty"; to that end, they're ditching the traditional purple bodysuit and making it something more realistic. Which means, one would hope, some proper ventilation, or the Phantom's main villain will be a raging case of jock itch.