This new version of Gaston Leroux’s novel was officially announced by Cannon at MIFED in October 1988. No, that isn’t an error. Cannon was the original backer/distributor for this film. The following two-page slick advert from the October 19, 1988 Variety publicized the film and boasted the major casting coup for Golan/Globus as they had hired Robert Englund – horror’s hottest actor and Freddy Kreuger himself – to play the title role.
Original PHANTOM announcement
(click to enlarge)
If you clicked on the large version of the ad, you probably noticed a few things. First, a promised start date of November 28, 1988 was listed. Second, the screenplay was credited solely to Gerry O’Hara. Third, John Hough was listed as the director. A lot of changes would go down before the cameras eventually started rolling.