Franchise / The Phantom of the Opera
Since The Phantom of the Opera
was written by French author Gaston Leroux between 1909 and 1910, it has been adapted for film and television many times.
The original work
Adaptations with their own pages
Other Phantom-based works with their own pages
Other adaptations include
- The first was a German production, which has since been lost.
- An American television version starring Charles Dance aired in 1990. So yes, the same man played the Phantom of the Opera and Tywin Lannister.
- Dario Argento directed a 1998 film version in which the Phantom isn't even disfigured.
- There are also multiple musical adaptations apart from Andrew Lloyd Webber's. The one most frequently performed — developed at around the same time as the Lloyd Webber show but unstaged until several years after it — was written by Maury Yeston (Nine) and Arthur Kopit and is simply called Phantom.
Tropes recurring in multiple mediums and/or adaptations without their own pages
- Adaptational Attractiveness:
- Gerard Butler's Phantom in the film version is rather less ugly than his stage counterparts, to the point that film critic Richard Roeper quipped "He's the Fashionably-Scarred Stud of the Opera."
- Peter J÷back◊ who plays the part on West End between March and September of 2012 originally auditioned to play the Phantom on Broadway but was rejected because he was considered too good looking for the part. He was offered the part of Raoul instead, turned it down and was then contacted by Andrew Lloyd Webber who asked him to come play the role in London.
- In Dario Argento's film version, the Phantom has no facial disfigurement at all.
- Adaptational Heroism: The 1990 miniseries featured Charles Dance as a kinder, gentler and more sympathetic Phantom than his counterpart in the novel.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: The book Christine was blonde, but in most stage and film productions she's a brunette.
- Averted in the TV miniseries, and in the Hungarian production—Christine is sometimes blonde here. The actresses seem to have wigs the same colour as their own hair.
- This is also now averted in the West End production — Emmi Christensson, an alternate Christine, wears a blonde wig. This also counts for Meg, dark-haired in the book, but blonde in the musical, is now sometimes dressed in a dark wig.
- Adapted Out: The Persian and Raoul's unfortunate older brother... except in the Lon Chaney version in the former's case and the Daario Argento version in the latter's case.
- Covers Always Lie: The artwork for the Las Vegas production features the Phantom bending seductively over...a blonde woman in a red dress with copious cleavage who generally looks nothing like the stage incarnation of Christine.
- The Dario Argento version has a masked Phantom, weeping blood, on the VHS and DVD cover,; as has already been mentioned, the Phantom in this film has no facial deformity at all, and thus no need to wear a mask.
- Dramatic Unmask: The 1925 silent film has the most dramatic version.
- The TV miniseries has Christine pleading with Erik to let her see his face, insisting that she can handle it. It turns out to be so horrifying (though the audience never sees it) that she faints. Later, at the end of the film, as he's dying, she removes the mask herself, so that she can kiss him goodbye, showing that she loves him no matter what she looks like.
- Evil Laugh: In the stage version, the Phantom breaks out in mad laughter first when he ruins Carlotta's performance and later when he crashes the chandelier. In the silent film, Lon Chaney proves you don't even need sound to let loose with an Evil Laugh.
- In Maskerade, the Phantom (one of them, at least) writes down an Evil Laugh. With five exclamation marks, nonetheless!!!!! This lampshaded by one of the characters. (Opera will do that to a man.)
- Fatal Flaw: The Phantom's...craziness. Christine's na´vetÚ.
- Flanderization: The Phantom has always been something of a Tragic Monster and may sometimes even be a sympathetic figure, but the Schumacher film (to the point of Villain Decay) and the stage musical (to a lesser extent than it's often accused of, especially considering the large amount of free reign the actor's given within certain boundaries) tend to exaggerate this aspect while simultaneously making everyone else unlikeable and downplaying the fact that, whatever else Erik may be, he is also a deeply disturbed and homicidal person.
- This has also happened to Carlotta over the years. Originally she was part of a Technician vs. Performer comparison, with Carlotta having a marvelous instrument but no soul in her singing as opposed to the more passionate (if rather more erratic) Christine. Over the years this has been simplified to Carlotta's voice being awful (or at least past its prime), to the point where the Schumacher movie depicts opera staff stuffing cotton in their ears when she prepares to sing (thus leading to Informed Flaw, as Margaret Preece's voice is one of the better ones in the film).
- In fact a few swings in the stage show can cover both Carlotta and Christine. Also Carlotta is always played by someone who's been classically trained.
- It's true that, in the book, Christine was rather naive to believe Erik was actually the angel her father had promised her, and occasionally behaved somewhat immaturely - but she was still essentially a sensible and independent young woman who was under enormous pressure from all sides, told Raoul off for stalking her, did her level best to keep him out of trouble and had a strong enough will to put up with Erik without going completely crazy. However, in a lot of adaptations - such as Susan Kay's Phantom and Nicholas Meyer's 'The Canary Trainer' - she's portrayed as an airhead with the mentality of a child, who can barely even take care of herself.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: Everywhere you look.
- The Ingenue: Christine is the epitome of this, except in the 1943 film, where she's a well-adjusted, career-minded girl.
- Carlotta even lampshades Christine's ingenue status in the musical right before "Prima Donna":
: (to Andre and Firmin)
Would you not rather have your precious little ingenue?
- Signora, no, the world wants YOU!!!
- In Name Only: Subverted with the 1989 reimagining starring Robert Englund as the title character. Many often mistake it for this given its nature as a gory horror film — but in actuality, it's much closer to the original novel than the famous musical (which itself at times borders on the trope), maintaining the sadism of Leroux's Erik which many adaptations tend to downplay, and featuring plot elements that are often left out of theatrical adaptations.
- The Dario Argento version is very much an example of being The Phantom of the Opera in name only, starting with how The Phantom is not deformed and was raised by rats.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Raoul, obviously.
- Lighter and Softer: If you're talking about the Lloyd Webber version as opposed to Leroux, there's always the TheaterWorks USA adaptation, which was expressly written to out-Light-and-Softness the Lloyd Webber version itself. (And in all honesty, the Lloyd Webber version comes off far, far darker onstage than it does in the film version.) The Theaterworks version does away with the love triangle altogether, makes Erik into Madame Giry's long-lost son who was burned in a fire in the opera house a few years previously, and has Christine coax him in the end into using his gift to open a music school in order to relieve his bitterness at being unable to perform. All of the denizens of the opera happily approve, and it ends with a song about accepting people who may look different from you. I wish I were making this up.
- In the meantime the Lloyd Webber version, while very dark and gothic, is still lighter than the book: Erik, instead of looking like a living corpse, has a smaller (though still nasty) deformity, and in contrast to the kill count of the book only Buquet and Piangi die in the show. (Then again, Erik does possibly try to cause the chandelier to fall on Christine, so there you go.) The deformity is less an attempt to lighten the Phantom's look than the fact Lon Chaney-level deformities took too long to apply for a live show and severely limited the actor's ability to sing.
- The 1962 version is so light and soft that the Phantom doesn't even kill anybody! Instead, a homicidal little person who's friends with the Phantom does all the killing, so the Phantom's hands are technically clean throughout the whole movie. Also, the Phantom has no romantic interest in Christine, just wants to hear his music performed, and performs a Heroic Sacrifice in the end.
- Love Triangle: Depending on the version and/or the actors, this can be Triang Relations 4 or 7. In the 1943 version, oddly enough, it's not Raoul and Erik competing over Christine, but Raoul and a baritone Christine often stars opposite onstage. (The Phantom figure is Christine's father in this case, who wants her back after leaving her in her childhood.) In the end, Christine chooses her career over both of them.
- Mr. Fanservice: The various actors who have played Erik and Raoul. (But not Lon Chaney!)
- Nothing Is Scarier: We never see Erik's face in the TV miniseries, but it's apparently horrifying enough to make Christine faint the first time she does.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Occurs in a couple of the movies, with the '89 version being the most blatant.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: And how!
- Pretty in Mink: Carlotta wears a fur or two in about every other adaptation.
- Progressively Prettier: The various movie adaptations provide the image for this trope. Lon Chaney has a freakishly deformed skull-head. Claude Rains has one side of his face badly scarred. Gerard Butler looks like he fell asleep in a tanning booth with the right side of his face up.
- Race Lift: Robert Guillame was cast as the Phantom during the first national tour. Until recently, he was the only African-American actor to play the role—after 26 years, Norm Lewis will be the first African-American to play the part on Broadway.
- Rage Against the Reflection: Movie version only. Implied in the TV miniseries, where Erik claims that his eyes "are the only part of my face I can look at in a mirror without wanting to break the glass".
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Most presentations of Christine, due to common Adaptation Dye-Job. Emmy Rossum in the 2004 version especially.
- Satan: The Angel of Music is another name for The Devil. The Phantom is Milton-esque figure who lives underground in a freezing lake (a la Dante) coming up to enchant and abduct beautiful innocent maidens. He is an Expy for Lucifer.
- Scarpia Ultimatum: "His life is now the prize that you must earn. So, do you end your days with me, or do you send him to his grave?" Raoul throws this back in the Phantom's face with "Why make her lie to you to save me?"
- Scenery Porn:
- The sets and special effects of the musical (most infamously the chandelier) were groundbreaking for their time and still impress today. They may be flashy and overwrought, but they're done spectacularly well.
- The Opera House set built for the 1925 film was an extraordinarily elaborate set for its day. It still exists today, and was used for, believe it or not, The Muppets.
- The 1990 tv miniseries actually got to film most of its scenes in the Opera Garnier itself, and takes every opportunity to show off the beauty of the building.
- Setting Update: Over the years, plays and films have been written that reset the story in other venues. Probably the best-known of these is Brian De Palma's 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise, which is set in the rock music industry and pastiches several horror/fantasy stories in addition to Phantom.
- Torches and Pitchforks: The mob that chases after Erik at the end of the 1925 film—and in the 2004 version.
- Torture Cellar: Book and movies only.
- Tragic Monster: The Phantom is the epitome of the trope when he isn't being played up as a Draco in Leather Pants.
- White Mask of Doom: Natch.
- Only in the musical, though. In the novel it's once mentioned to be black, and never mentioned again. The mask used during the masquerade ball was naturally red.
- The classic white mask, interestingly, is a case of Older Than They Think—it dates back to the 1943 film, not the musical.