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Syfy ‘Phantom’ Reboot Keeps It Real-ish

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

hollywoodnews.com: Syfy premieres its four-hour event movie “The Phantom” on Sunday (6/20) — with all involved in the modern reboot of the classic comic book tale anxiously awaiting viewer response, which will determine whether the dark super hero will be brought back for a full-on series. It’s an attractive if daunting prospect for 27-year-old hottie Ryan Carnes (“Desperate Housewives”), who’s taken on the role of Kit Walker — actually, the son of the comic book Kit Walker — a promising law student yanked out of his life in a terrible way and confronted with a future that entails taking over the Phantom persona.

“I had a great time. It was by far the most rewarding experience of my career, the biggest, the most responsibility I’ve had as an actor. I ate it up. I loved it,” he says.

But it wasn’t easy. “The three weeks we were on night shooting, about two-thirds of the way through the shoot, were the hardest for me,” says Carnes. “We’d been shooting 15, 16 hour days, but when we switched to nights, I felt like I was losing myself at times. The body is not made to be up all night. Your hormones are all over the place and it’s easier to get depressed. But I think it served to help in my performance. Kit was feeling exhausted, confused and unsure about what was happening in his life. I felt much the same way,” he explains with a laugh.

Carnes says he and director Paolo Barzman talked at length about keeping his character grounded in reality. (This Phantom, by the way, has traded in the old Phantom’s purple tights for cool-looking protective gear that has purple accents.) “Sometimes, certain liberties are taken to make these superhero characters bigger. Some, like Spider-man — they keep that character real. I wanted to find the balance between the real human being who is very unassuming at the beginning and the Phantom. By the end of the movie, he has to face himself and really become a man.”


About Beck / Smith

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are among America’s leading columnists. They’ve covered the Hollywood beat for decades — Elvis and “Easy Rider” through the Jonas Bros. and “Avatar” and all the stars and their triumphs and scandals in-between. Their Creators Syndicate column, Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive, is a source of top celebrity interviews and entertainment news in newspapers across the country as well as online. To read more about Marylin and Stacy go to BeckSmithHollywood.com

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One Comment

  • July 31, 2010 | Permalink |

    I am a die hard phantom fan, but this show is utter crap. A reboot of a series from a realistic point is definitely good, but come on, has anyone actually seen the suit. It looks like a bomb protection vest with a extremely impractical headgear not to mention stupid. The second thing which irritated me a lot was that they changed the phantom HQ to indonesia from the original Deep woods.

    I mean come on you talk about making it real, but then kit manages to pull the skull ring out of the fire (which is glowing red due to the heat) and puts it on his finger without even a slight show of pain. I call that bad acting or bad storyline. Even the final test was a laugh. I recently got a chance to read some of the latest phantom comics printed by moonstone, marvel, dc etc and trust me they have done a marvellous job with the story. Syfy’s take is like a cheap imitation which is just bloody frustrating.I can easily point to at least a dozen flaws in the storyline, sets, animation and the so called ” Realism” that the director wanted to achieve.

    I think it would have been better if the syfy chaps would have taken some of the concept out of Marvel’s interpretation of phantom (where they have added a techno edge to the character) or straight duplication of the phantom2040.

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