Thursday, February 02, 2006

Will Falk's "Phantom" Re-Appear ?

Screenwriter Mel Stewart, is the latest scribe to be tapped for the Crusader Entertainment/Hyde Park production "THE PHANTOM", based on the 1936 "ghost who walks" comic strip character created by Lee "Mandrake the Magician" Falk.

Steven "Die Hard" De Souza had previously submitted a screenplay.

"While I like the comic book franchises of the 1990s, I always wanted to be able to identify with my hero more," Stewart said about 'The Phantom'.

"Take all of the technology of 2004, where science fiction is no longer that -- it's science fact. If you had all that technology at your fingerprints, you would be a superhero."

Considered the first costumed super-hero to appear in print, premise of "The Phantom" begins with 'Christopher Standish', a cabin boy for explorer Christopher Columbus, who marries and becomes the captain of his own commercial vessel. But his ship comes under attack by pirates and his only son 'Kit', the sole survivor, washes up on a 'distant African shore', befriended by the 'Bandar' tribe of pygmies.

Swearing revenge against 'piracy and injustice', Kit fashions a costume and becomes a feared figure, riding a white stallion, with a companion wolf running alongside.

"The Phantom" that appears in the current comic strip is Kit's 21st descendant.

The first 1940's 'Phantom' comic books were reprints from newspaper strips, published in Ace, King and Harvey comics.

More recent comic books have been published by Charlton, D.C. and Marvel.