Gaumont, the French production company behind Netflix shows Narcos and F Is For Family, is in the early stages of adapting Gaston Leroux’s iconic novel The Phantom Of The Opera into a six-part TV miniseries.
The project is being led out of Gaumont’s UK unit, which is working with writer Anthony Horowitz to re-imagine Leroux’s gothic story about a disfigured composer, who lives in the depths of the Paris Opera House and falls for singer Christine Daae with tragic consequences.
Deadline understands that the 1910 novel, rather than Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash-hit musical, will form the backbone of Horowitz’s adaptation, in much the same way that Andrew Davies relied on Victor Hugo’s book to bring Les Misérables to the screen for the BBC and PBS in 2018.
Gaumont declined to comment on the project, but it is another sign of progress being made by UK chief Alison Jackson after the division announced last week that it has optioned historian Julie Summers’ biography on wartime Vogue editor Audrey Withers. Gaumont UK also co-produces Sky’s Tim Roth drama Tin Star.
Horowitz is fresh from executive producing a Sony-funded adaptation of his Alex Rider novels, which Deadline revealed last week is set for a second season. The Foyles War and Collision writer is also working with Eleventh Hour Films to adapt his novel Magpie Murders, a whodunit about a writer who is murdered while penning a whodunit.
The Phantom Of The Opera has been adapted for the screen a number of times. It was the inspiration for a 1925 silent movie, while in 2004, there was a lavish re-imagining of Lloyd Webber’s musical by Joel Schumacher, who died this week at the age of 80. The latter starred Gerard Butler as the Phantom and was nominated for three Oscars.
The Phantom Of The Opera is billed as one of the most successful musicals of all time and has scooped nine Olivier and Tony Awards after debuting in the West End and Broadway in the 1980s. The show will not reopen at the West End’s Her Majesty’s Theatre until 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but it is back in production in South Korea.