The Phantom Of The Opera:Moviehole recently talked with Joel Schumacher about many of his past films as well as his upcoming films, including Phantom Of The Opera where he confirmed many of the cast:

I’m guessing that you won’t be making Phantom of the Opera in 12 days with a $1.2 million budget.

No, but because I’m using unknowns in the leads and because of the budget given to me by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company, it’s a more modest production.

Are you going with Gerard Butler for the title role? I remember seeing him in Dracula 2000 and thinking he had real presence.

Yes. I saw him in Dracula 2000 too, and he’s in Timeline and the new Tomb Raider this summer. He’s the greatest, he’s like the Scottish version of Colin Farrell. He’s just a regular guy, he says it like it is. And he’s a fabulous singer. I knew him before we started casting Phantom and he told me he’d been in a band. I asked him if he could sing - not just stand up on stage with a guitar, but really sing - and he said ‘I think I could’. Then when he came in to audition he blew me and Andrew Lloyd Webber away. He’s going to be a great Phantom - a young, sexy Phantom. And I know the Michael Crawford fans are going to be hysterical, but maybe they should stay home then...

As for the female lead, I read it was between Anne Hathaway from The Princess Diaries and an actress named Emmy Rossum.

It’s Emmy Rossum. She’s coming up in Clint Eastwood’s film Mystic River, playing Sean Penn’s daughter. She’s 16 years old, a fabulous girl. She’s this very energetic New York girl but when she played an Appalachian girl in this movie Songcatcher, I honestly thought they’d found some local girl for the role. She was singing with the Metropolitan Opera when she was seven, singing in the kids’ chorus. And then there’s Patrick Wilson - do you know who he is?

He’s in The Alamo, isn’t he?

He’s in that, and Mike Nichols has done the play Angels in America for HBO - he’s the star in that. You know how Hugh Jackman was in Oklahoma in London? Patrick did the same role on Broadway. Those are my three.

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Brian B.