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The Phantom (1996) Poster

(1996)

Trivia

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The Palmer mansion set is actually the real-life Playboy mansion owned by Hugh Hefner.
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Billy Zane pumped iron for over a year to fill The Phantom's costume. A Batman-like costume with fake muscles was reportedly made, but by the time filming started, Zane was so beefed up that he did not need it.
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When not filming, Billy Zane had a habit of running out to buy sushi wearing his Phantom costume.
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One of The Phantom's trademarks in the comic strip, his striped "underpants", was tried on the movie costume, but reportedly looked too silly to use in the final film.
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Bruce Campbell and Kevin M. Smith were considered for the role of the Phantom.
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Several scenes developing the romance between The Phantom/Kit Walker and Diana Palmer were shot in Thailand, but director Simon Wincer reportedly ditched them because he wanted the film to be more fast-paced.
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Diana's idle-rich acquaintance Jimmy Wells (Jon Tenney) appeared in the earliest installments of the Phantom comic, when the Phantom was still a shadowy figure whose identity and motives had not been revealed. Lee Falk planned to reveal that Jimmy Wells was the Phantom's alter ego, and included several hints to that effect, before settling on the now-familiar backstory of the Phantom as a globetrotting crimefighter with a centuries-long heritage, and quietly writing Jimmy Wells out of the comic.
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Billy Zane is a big fan of the Phantom, having been introduced to the comics while filming Dead Calm (1989).
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The Palmer's butler is named Falkmoore. This name is derived from Lee Falk, the creator of The Phantom, and Ray Moore, The Phantom's first artist.
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This movie was originally going to be the first of a trilogy. However, after it bombed at the box office, the two sequels were cancelled.
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The story takes place in 1938/39 (just before the start of World War II). This is taken from the fact that Kit told Diana that it had been six years since they had last seen each other, and that Kit's father was killed by Quill in 1932, which can be seen on his tomb marker in the cave when Kit places the gun belt that he retrieved on it at the end of the movie. Another indicator of the year is the banner hanging at the entrance to the Museum of World History (it says 1939).
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The Skull is a dominate symbol in The Phantom's life. He lives in the Skull Cave, he wears the Skull Ring, and in the movie, he was trying to find three Skulls. If you look closely at his costume, you will even see a skull design on it.
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Dolph Lundgren was considered for the lead role when the project was in development in the late 1980s, early 1990s.
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The Phantom's father (born 1872, died 1932), had he not been killed seven years earlier, would have been 67 years old in 1939 when the film takes place. Patrick McGoohan, who played the role, was also 67 years old when the film was made.
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Loosely based on Lee Falk's first stories from The Phantom comic strip, "The Singh Brotherhood" and "The Sky Band". Screenwriter Jeffrey Boam added the elements of bad guy Xander Drax and his search for a weapon of doom.
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Jenny McCarthy and Jennifer Lopez both auditioned for the role of Sala. Eventually, director Simon Wincer cast Catherine Zeta-Jones due to having enjoyed working with her on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Palestine, October 1917 (1993).
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Joe Dante was originally slated to direct, but left due to other commitments. Before this, Joel Schumacher was considered for the directing job.
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In the 1970s, pre-production began on a low budget Phantom feature to be shot in Mexico, with Batman star Adam West in the title role. However, there were issues with the character rights and the film was scrapped.
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Billy Zane and Catherine Zeta-Jones starred in two Titanic films: Zane played Caledon Hockley in the blockbuster Titanic (1997), and Zeta-Jones played Isabella Paradine in the miniseries Titanic (1996).
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Both Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and James Remar starred in the Mortal Kombat movies. Tagawa played Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat (1995) and Remar played Lord Rayden in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997).
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Billy Zane and Casey Siemaszko previously appeared together in Back to the Future (1985) and Back to the Future Part II (1989) as two of Biff's friends, Match and 3-D.
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Director Simon Wincer mentioned in an interview that Minnie Driver was originally cast as Sala but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
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The two red float planes used by the baddies in the film are Grumman G-164 Sea Cats, converted from wheeled G -164 Ag Cats, an aircraft specifically developed by Grumman for industrial crop spraying.

Both aircraft were previously used Australia as crop dusters; for filming they had their hoppers removed and an extra seat fitted for joyrides and had floats added for scenic flights. After the film work was finished both returned to their dusting jobs.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Billy Zane shaved his head to get the Phantom's cowl to fit as close as possible. This necessitated all his scenes where the Phantom is out of costume, with a full head of hair, to be shot early in production. The scene where the Phantom removes his cowl was shot in two parts, in reverse order, several weeks apart.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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