It’s October so that means a four scary casting options.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

Ahhh, Gerard Butler we met again. For those of you who live under a rock in a deep cave, Gerard Butler was in the 2004 film version of the Phantom of the Opera musical as the Phantom. The Phantom’s character is kind of like the combination of Quasimodo and Frollo as he is deformed but very much motivated by sex and a wrapped sense of what love is, though Phantom has an arc and learns and Frollo doesn’t. Anyway so Butler was criminally mis-casted as the Phantom and now let’s muse him being cast as Frollo.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

Butler isn’t that bad of an actor, there are worst people, Butler just picks bad movies so if he were in any version of Hunchback it would mark it as a bad movie. More than that, Butler is completely wrong in type for Frollo. Frollo is meant to have a older austere look and is considered ugly by shallow Esmeralda. However that is the in book, the movies are different so we can’t wholly dismiss Butler’s look. Bulter actually has a similar look to the 1956 Frollo, Alain Cuny. Also, think about it and I mean REALLY think about it, is there any movie version were Esmeralda is scared of Frollo and calls him ugly? If there is one, I can’t think recall it. Esmeralda in the book is aware of Frollo and is scared of him because he is mean to her but in the movie versions she isn unaware of Frollo. One reason for this is that most of the versions show Frollo’s first look at her and it’s not in a flashback or recounted to the audience, so Esmeralda doesn’t know about Frollo and it’s not till the point of attack that is she made aware of him and how awful he is to her. Him being ugly isn’t even that much of a big deal within the movies, all he needs to be is against Esmeralda for her not to like him and this can be done with him being a priest fighting and then giving in to his lust or being a jerk to Esmeralda’s people.

Gerard Butler as The Phantom, The Phantom of the Opera picture image

Gerard Butler as The Phantom

If it sounds like I’m condoning Butler being cast as Frollo, I’m not, I’m merely illustrating a the discrepancy between the book and movies because there is another issue with Butler, his acting. I did say he wasn’t a bad actor but he doesn’t range. Butler is not capable of playing Frollo. He probably would just yell most of his lines and make rugged poses. Any sense of Frollo’s inner conflict of being godly vs his lust would be throw out the window for some hammy loud lines.

Gerard Butler picture image

Gerard Butler

Butler playing Frollo would be a mess and I would also say that if Butler were cast as Frollo it probably wouldn’t even be the worst part of the movie, and that is the scary part . Also I don’t another handsome Frollo.

We’re Done! Also there’s a conclusion!

Chapter, 24, Barrels! Barrels!

yet another recount for our newest bestest pal Daroga the Persian, I wish he had a name but what are you going to do about it. The bulk of this chapter explains the toture in the forest room or heat. Basic the room makes people go crazy with thrist till the kill them selves on iron tree a.k.a the gibbet. Raoul kind or moans around and complains will Daroga tries super hard to find a spring which is the way out. He does find a way out which leads them to a SHIT-ton (that is the counter word) of barrel all filled with gun powder. Which comes back to Erik’s Ultimatum for Christine; Marry me or die with everyone else in the building.

Gotta say I don’t know what to say on this chapter. It’s mostly the Persian looking for that spring while describing the room and then the method behind the Phantom’s threat. But also maybe it’s just in my copy of the book but the word Phantom is never used, they use the word Ghost. Just interesting.

Chapter, 25, The Scorpion or the Grasshopper: Which?

Christine pulls the Scorpion, which mean yes she’ll marry him and with the turing on Bronze Scorpion it floods the cellar with the barrels nearly drown Raoul and the Persian. Just want to add the Scorpion and Grasshopper piece seems like they would be really pretty.

The chapter is pretty short. There is some confusion over if the Scorpion really means yes to the marriage or if will kill everyone. But Erik was being honest even though very dramatic.

The chapter end the Persian recount.

Chapter 26, The End of the Ghost’s Love-Story

So Erik saves Raoul and the Persian because Christine asked him. She also displays aspects that she will be his wife and stay a live, or what Erik called his “living wife”. She also let Erik kiss her, albeit on the forehead and not that passionate kiss like in the musical but that was enough him. His own mother never let him kiss so her so it was a big deal for him. Erik let her go to be with Raoul. He was redeemed just like Grinch. But then he dies.

It’s a good ending, very heart-breaking and sad for teh crazy, dramatic, genius who just wanted love.


And we’re back to Mr Leroux still trying to make us believe that this story is 100% true. This chapter tries to sum up what happened to everyone, though Christine, Raoul and her guardian lady all just disappear. Leroux claims to have found Erik’s skeleton which has the gold ring he gave to Christine which she lost which he back to her only for her to put of his dead figure after he announced his death in a newspaper. The skeleton was found in that area behind Christine’s dressing room, the place where he first carried her off. Where or not it’s Erik’s skeleton, Leroux’s character of himself believes it.

This ending chunk also gives some vague background of Erik, which is the basis for Susan Kay’s Phantom, which I would recommend reading. It’s sort of a Prequel, Midquel, sequel. There is actually a lot of novels based on Phantom. Most people think Christine and Erik should have been together. Heck, even Andrew Lloyd Webber has musical sequel based on a shitting book.

It’s an ok ending even if does offer a clear ending for the many of the character. Heck even that whole Safety pin thing is never explained. I did like the imagery of the Northern railway Station in the world, the end of it just feels like a cold winter’s night.

Over-all The Phantom of the Opera is an entertaining read. It’s way easier to read that Fricken The Man who Laughs. It’s not the deepesy or thought provoking story but it’s has nice gothic bitter-sweet vibe. I could have left out the stuff with the mangers and money talk, that was just boring. Also I’m not really a fan of the story within a story thing the book did. It meant that while the Phantom the object of the story he never was the subject. Would it have been better if we ever got into the Phantom’s head or is less more? I think not knowing what makes Erik ticks make him more interesting and it the reason why there is all the Phantom retellings. But presenting the book this way really Erik is only in the action a few times. He alluded to and flashback more than actually being a part of a scene.

But yeah, it’s a fun book. On to the movie versions! And lastly, Safety-Pins!!

Chapter 20, In the Cellars of Opera House

In this chapter the Persian and Raoul venture down into the world of the Opera House’s Cellars, of which there are FIVE! They meet with crazy things like the Rat-Catcher. Which I could never figure out, is it a dude or an invention? I know the Julian Sands version takes this Rat-catcher idea to a WHOLE new level. Another than I think a weird cartoon that was pretty damn accurate had it but no other version.

I really wish this underworld of the Opera was shown more in the movies. Some do it but not within the context of the book. Like for example the Charles Dance version he has little a weird underground forest.

I think Tim Burton should direct a phantom version, if only for this chapter. I think his take on it would be so awesome and I would be totally ok with Johnny Depp playing Erik. Maybe Helena Bonham Carter as La Carlotta. You know a true to form Phantom of the Opera a la Burton.

Chapter 21, Interesting and Instructive Vicissitudes of a Persian in the Cellars of the Opera

In this chapter our friend the Persian tell us stuff from his perceptive. We also learn that he also called Daroga which just mean chief of Police. We also learn a little bit of his past with Erik in India and his favorite weapon of choice the Punjab Lasso, which pretty much a noose. It seen in some movies but never named, and I’m not sure if his time in India is ever mention.

Anyway this chapter is interesting, it back paddle a little bit to get more of a picture of Erik who is crackers.He doesn’t like the Persian Daroga meddling his courting, which is involves kidnapping and filling a young lady with terror and guilt, can’t deny the guy a method. This chapter also explains the Siren trap, which will come up later. Basically it’s just Erik in the lake, singing through a reed till her drown the person trying to cross the lake.

So despite the back tracking it’s a good chapter.

Chapter 22, In the Torture-Chamber

More from Persian Daroga, I do not know what to call him. This one doesn’t backtrack. Persian Daroga and Raoul are in the torture chamber which is akin to the the spinny room in the 2004 movie.

So this chapter, Erik gives Christine an ultimatum the grave or his bed. Wait! That’s not right, I need to calibrate, that was Frollo’s ultimatum, Erik’s one the Wedding mass or the requiem. Basically marry me or everyone in the Opera will die. It’s worse than Frollo’s or was Frollo’s just less grand? We also see Erik use the Siren to kill someone though we don’t know who yet. And Christine tried to commit suicide which is a character trait we don’t see in the movie versions.

Over all I like this chapter, it’s great to see how crazy Erik really is. Also his idea of marriage is so naive for some one is a crazed genius killer, he just wants to take walks on Sundays. Doesn’t sound like sultry guy in the musicals.

Chapter 23, The Tortures Begin

Again more from Persian Daroga, I hope you like this guy because he will be narrorating till the almost end sadly he is like never in the movies.

Erik AGIAN mentions Sunday scrolls with his wife. Really he just wants a cozy normal life, though with his flair for the dramatics I doubt it would be all that normal. Speaking of his flair for drama, the Torture Chamber and no it’s not some bad pop music. Christine tries to get the key from Erik’s bag of life and death, see drama. But she fails and then Erik shows her through a little window the chamber which has an iron tree. Erik says it’s a joke but the torture comes in the form of hear because it’s an African Forest, oh such weird twisted humor.

These chapter were WAY better than the later batch. Without all the mysterious this story is way more interesting but then again everyone knows the story so there is no more mystery which is a little sad stylistically. I still would like a more by the book movie where at least the bulk of Christine’s first kidnapping is told in flashbacks but that is just me, say goes for Frollo’s confession.

Remember you can make suggestions for which movie versions of Pahntom you want to see reviewed, otherwise I have to pick myself.

Keanu Reeves picture iamge

Keanu Reeves

Disney is  currently making a CG version of The Phantom of the Opera and Keanu Reeves has landed the coveted role as the Phantom.

Why Disney? Just why?


Tomorrow is Halloween. A day of candy, costumes and feeling mildly scared in a fun way. But what would our dear Hunchback characters wear as their costumes?

Phantom of the Opera Halloween Costume for Quasimodo  picture image

Phantom of the Opera Halloween Costume for Quasimodo

Quasimodo  – Phantom of the Opera (Another deformed French but considered sexy by many)

Darth Vader Halloween Costume for Frollo picture image

Darth Vader Halloween Costume for Frollo

Frollo –  Darth Vader (he love wearing black and has a flair for dramatics)

Flapper Halloween Costume for Esmeralda picture image

Flapper, Halloween Costume for Esmeralda

Esmeralda – Flapper

Chick Magnet, Halloween Costume for Phoebus picture image

Chick Magnet, Halloween Costume for Phoebus

Phoebus – Chick Magnet

Edgar Allan Poe, Halloween Costume for Gringoire picture image

Edgar Allan Poe, Halloween Costume for Gringoire

Gringoire –  Edgar Allan Poe

Jack Sparrow, Halloween Costume for Clopin  picture image

Jack Sparrow, Halloween Costume for Clopin

Clopin – Captain Jack Sparrow

Wicked Queen, Halloween Costume for Fleur de Lys  picture image

Wicked Queen, Halloween Costume for Fleur de Lys

Fleur de Lys – A Wicked Queen

Beer Keg, Halloween Costume for Jehan   picture image

Beer Keg, Halloween Costume for Jehan

Jehan – Beer Keg

Kangaroo, Halloween Costume for Sister Gudule picture image

Kangaroo, Halloween Costume for Sister Gudule

Sister Gudule – Kangaroo (she wants to keep her baby close to her)

Lady Gaga, Halloween Costume for Djali  picture image

Lady Gaga, Halloween Costume for Djali

Djali – Lady Gaga (would need to be modified for a Goat)

Video made by . It uses the 25th anniversary of Phantom
footage and clips from the first run of Love Never Dies . And of course the bestest song from the Disney version Hunchback, Hellfire .

For the last few days I been trying to do a Phantom of the Opera/Hunchback  theme week  so here is a little photo manipulation I made. Enjoy

The Phantom with Christine in the grope scene from Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

The Phantom with Christine in the grope scene from Hunchback of Notre Dame

I’m not a big fan of The 2004 version of The Phantom of the Opera but at least it was a pretty movie to look at.

Shirel as Esmeralda in the Red with Laurent Ban as Phoesbus Notre Dame de Paris 2001 French Cast picture image

Shirel as Esmeralda in the Red with Laurent Ban as Phoesbus Notre Dame de Paris 2001 French Cast

Answer Laurent Ban. Ban played Phoebus in 2001 Morgdor Cast, 2005 Asian tour cast and in the 2005 cast in France. He also dubbed the Phantom in the 2004 movie version of the Phantom of the Opera in Frnech.

Laurent Ban singing Dechire in a 2005 performance of Notre Dame de Paris


Bonus – Cecilia Cara dubbed Christine Daae in french and she played Juliette along side Damien Sargue in Romeo et Juliette. Sargue was an understudy in the original cast for Gringoire and Pheobus

Besides Quaismodo’s make-up and Lon Chaney is there anything else that this movie has going for it? Yes, yes there is, the Sets. The sets are well done.

Notre Dame de Paris set from the 1923 version of Hunchback picture image

Notre Dame de Paris Set from the 1923 version of Hunchback

The sets for the 1923 version of the Hunchback were built on the back-lot of universal. To create the cathedral they built the set up to the row of statues. The upper portions of Notre Dame in the long shots were the results of a floating miniature. A floating miniature means that they would hang the model in front on the camera to force the miniature to match up with the set to look like a whole. It’s a trick of the camera that isn’t used to much these days.  But the result look seamless.


A Matte Painting used 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

A Matte Painting used 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

The production also used age old film tricks like matte painting to give the sets more depth. In the picture above, everything beyond the chest is a painting

Group cluster together 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture imageg

Group cluster together

Also strategic positioning of extras helped to give the sets more scale.


The Notre Dame Set in the Chaney version of the Phantom of the Opera picture image

The Notre Dame Set in the Chaney version of the Phantom of the Opera


According to the DVD commentary, the Notre Dame set was used at the end of Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera. Notice how you don’t seen the upper portion of the church that was filled in bu the floating miniature


Quasimodo (Lon Chaney), Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller) and Gudule (Gladya Brockwell) Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923 picture image

Quasimodo (Lon Chaney), Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller) and Gudule (Gladya Brockwell) Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923


So the set are great but  does that couple by Chaney, his make-up and one of my favorite Esmerladas make this a Good movie?

Find out Next time

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

As fan of Hellfire and the Phantom of the Opera this video fills me with joy. I also think that the Phantom is more like Frollo than Quasimodo but that is an article for another day.