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 Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie

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Gabby81
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PostSubject: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:46 pm

Before I read the book, I had read many peoples opinion about how different the movie was to the novel. So, I went into reading the novel as though it were going to be something completely different that what I had already seen in the musical and movie. I was actually surprised at how much was similar in the book vs the movie. But there are definately many differences, and I thought maybe we could discuss some of them, and why they may be different.

The first one that stuck out to me was in the novel, Raoul paid a visit to Mme Valerius (I believe that's her name). During this visit, she told Raoul that the Angel of Music had been visiting Christine for 3 months. In the movie, he's been visiting her for roughly 9 years. To me it makes more sense that she's faithful to the Phantom since he's been in her life for so long. 3 months is not a long time for the kind of commitment that we see in her. I realize that he does have some sort of power over her, as we see in the graveyard. I'm just curious about the major time difference between the two. Any ideas/comments?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:13 pm

Gabby81 wrote:

The first one that stuck out to me was in the novel, Raoul paid a visit to Mme Valerius (I believe that's her name). During this visit, she told Raoul that the Angel of Music had been visiting Christine for 3 months. In the movie, he's been visiting her for roughly 9 years. To me it makes more sense that she's faithful to the Phantom since he's been in her life for so long. 3 months is not a long time for the kind of commitment that we see in her. I realize that he does have some sort of power over her, as we see in the graveyard. I'm just curious about the major time difference between the two. Any ideas/comments?

I disagree. After only 3 months it makes more sense for the mystery of the Phantom to remain so firmly yet for Christine to be so infatuated as to be dedicated to the man. After 9 years I would have expected Christine to have gotten at least partly over her father's fairy tale and the blind faith she had in the Phantom. After 9 years she should have known better than to trust him so completely.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:26 pm

I agree and I don't. Christine has major issues with men in her life. She led a very sheltered life at the opera, and wouldn't have really known better. She's very naive in both the book and in the movie (though I think moreso in the movie). I do see what you're saying though. 3 months would make it still very fresh, very exciting. But I'm sure even after 9 years she would be able to give up the ideas that her father left with her.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:15 pm

Ok, here's another thing that bothers me. In the musical (someone will have to help me on the book here) the chandelier falls much earlier than in the movie. Why?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:42 am

Good question. Director Joel Schumacher explained on the second DVD of the 2-Disc DVD set, that it was more dramatic for it to fall at the end of the film than to match the book or even the stage version which crashed at the end of the second act.

Making films are very different from novels. If the chandelier had crashed earlier in the film, it would have felt like the end of the story.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:37 pm

See, I need the special 2 disc dvd set! Lol. But one must wonder, both Leroux and ALW made the chandelier scene work before the end. But that is what we have come to expect from interpretations.....each person sees something different even though looking at the same thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:02 pm

True, but a movie is visual. Not saying a book isn't or a stage play isn't, but there are certain do's and don't's. That's why I went back to writing stories before I continue with screenplays.


**************************

Here's another question to contemplate. Why do you think ALW took out the Persian and made Mme. Giry's role bigger than it was? Do you think his view of the story would have worked with the Persian?

Answers are not found any where but from you. affraid I'm making you think too much. Let me know if it's too much. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:17 pm

This one I have an opinion on without having to study first Smile When I finally read through Leroux's novel, I knew right away why the Persian was left out. Though he advances the plot, his story is very complex, and would be hard to portray on stage or on film. I mean, the 2004 movie was almost 2 1/2 hours long already. Though as a character I really like the Persian, I'm not at all surprised.

As for Mme Giry, this ones weird. If you look at the difference between the book and the movie, there is little to no resemblance between the two. I think her role became larger as she was already in the story, and could advance the plot to where it needed to go. We just don't get nearly as much background, only what she tells us (though I guess we're led to believe in the movie that that is the background, as there's never a mention of travelling etc).

One thing that does bother me about Mme Giry, or maybe two things: as a child, she rescues the Phantom, hides him in the Opera house, where she also lives. How is it that they never became good friends? You never see them interacting, you only see Mme Giry, turning a blind eye to what the Phantom does throughout the movie. I would like to assume had they become friends that though the Phantom would still "have issues" having lived in a Opera cellar his whole like, he would have been more educated, not that he's stupid mind you, but as Mme Giry says, he knows nothing outside the Opera house.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:52 pm

To me it seems the 2004 film had a lot of holes. Especially when it came to the Phantom's history. How could it be possible that he became so educated and knowledgeable about the world if he had never ventured out of the Opera House.

Then of course, your question about his relationship with Mme. Giry. I agree. Wouldn't he had been closer to her, a friend at best, yet, as you pointed out, they never interacted in the film. Since they seemed fairly close in age, why didn't they fall in love?

As a stand alone story, the script needed a lot of work. The music, actors, costumes, and scenery made the film.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:11 pm

I agree that the film doesn't really compare to the novel. But I believe it was made with a purpose. To me it really played up the love story component of the story. Something that would capture todays audience more than the more tragic original story. Not that the movie isn't tragic. I mean, who doesn't cry when he's holding the music box and singing "Masquerade"? The relationship with Mme Giry has always bothered me. I mean, the only real connection we see is she is his usher for box 5 (or at least I assumed that), but I find it hard to believe after 30/40 some years, they were not closer than they were. BTW.....we never hear about Mme Giry's husband or Meg's father. Interesting Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:11 am

In the novel, we see that Erik did communicate with Mme. Giry by more than just asking her to do things for him. Remember, he promised that Meg would become an Empress, but she had to settle for baroness.

However, I agree that the film doesn't make sense. That part about their relationship concerned me as well.

The part of Christine coming to the opera house at seven years old and the Phantom talking to her at that age to when we see her at what sixteen is odd. That bothered me too. Did he start out feeling sorry for her and wanting to be a friend and later fell in love? Makes a body think.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:31 am

Ok, so agree with me or not: would you assume that when the movie takes place, Mme Giry and the Phantom are likely 35-40 years old? That's roughly what I think, considering that both were still around in 1919. If this were the case, even if Christine was 16 and Erik was 35ish, that wouldn't have been unheard of in those times. But for a nearly 30 year old coming to a 7 year old is a little strange.

I find it very hard to believe that Mme Giry and the Phantom wouldn't have had a more personal relationship after all those years. That really doesn't make sense. And again, we know Mme Giry was married (hence Mme, and she wears a wedding ring), but we never do hear about him. Would be funny if little Meg turned out to be half little Phantom Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:02 pm

Actually, at the time, it was not uncommon for a man to claim a young, unmarried woman who had no guardian or parents. This was why Mme. Giry made sure Firman knew that Meg was her daughter and Christine was like a daughter. For this reason, the Phantom claimed Christine. The weirdness came, because nobody saw or heard him but Christine and Mme. Giry until later.

Actually, there was a Phan fic someone wrote and posted online which had Meg as Erik's daughter. It wasn't a bad story, but I can't recall it the story was ever completed.

In the novel, however, I am pretty sure Meg was not Erik's. Poor unhappy Erik.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:25 pm

I knew things were like that way back when, and though I didn't know for sure, I was pretty convinced when Mme Giry stopped Firmin in his tracks. You mention that nobody sees or hears Phantom save for Christine and Mme Giry. But he must have been visible at least a few times (talking the movie hear). We know in the book he makes himself visible now and then, and that's what keeps rumours and urban legends alive. Of course, again, the movie gives us no background at all, save for the sketchy stuff with Phantom and Mme Giry!

It was just a funny thought I had. The Phantom and Mme Giry "marry" and have a love child in Meg, then have a big fight and spend the rest of their lives trying to stay out of each others way Smile Lol. I could totally see it! Not something I really believed, but it's only been recently that it stuck out in my head that Mme Giry had been married, wears a wedding ring, but no mention of a husband. But, hey, they left out the Persian, so Mme Giry's boy toy probably didn't get top ratings Smile

I've been up waaaay too long....it's been over 48 hours. This is where I start getting stupid. I'm not used to pulling stretches like this anymore!

And yes....Poor, unhappy Erik. That scene for me is roughly the same way I feel about the end with the music box. It brings tears to my eyes everytime!

Ooooh, oooh. I just thought of something before I go. Speaking of the music box, I know why Christine turned back to give the Phantom the ring, but holy couldn't it just break your heart? You knew as soon as he saw her there his heart must have just exploded thinking she was staying with him. Ugh.....this is gonna drive me nuts!
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:50 am

They heard him as a ghost, not as a man until later. That's what I meant. Not feeling well.

That's what I mean when I said the movie script was not written very well. There are too many loop holes and illogical things that happened.

Later...
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:46 pm

This is very similar to another addiction I have....Harry Potter Smile For those of us who were fans of the novels before the films came out, the films generally aren't quite what we would expect them to be. But the films were made so that anyone who sat down would understand the story. Many of us phans knew the story before hand, though I never read the book until after I saw the movie. Before I'd read the book, the movie was perfectly fine to me, as it was similar to the stage performance that I'd previously seen. So, as a stand alone film, the movies great. But, once you start diving into the meat of the real story, you start to realize that, just like many things, the books are better than the movies Smile (this is by no means saying that I don't like the movie....I still watch it about once every 2 days!)

So, between you not feeling well and me having been up for 2.5 days, we still got some stuff going on here Smile This is gonna be hard for me to explain, but I'm going to do my best. Part 1 - the book. Are we made aware of how long Erik lived at the Opera? In the present day of the book, I believe Erik is supposed to be around 50? (correct me if I'm wrong). Now, we know he did much travelling etc. By the time that he was contracted to help build the opera house, he must have been at least 30ish. I'm curious to what happened from the time he moved into his house by the lake and the present day in the book. Yes, we have some background, but how long after he moved in did the rumours start about the Opera Ghost? Was it something that happened by mistake, and Erik saw that he could continue to exert power as he had in the Rosy days of whatchacallit (I can't remember how to spell it, you know what I mean Smile It might have been a complete fluke that started the whole thing off, and that's how everything started. As for going "from ghost to man" by making himself seen, I suppose that would have been done just to keep the story going, and to make it that much more terrifying.

As for my part 2, for the movie, the Phantom lived at the Opera house approximately the same amount of time that Erik would have in the novel, just from different ages. Same question....we see that Mme Giry is very aware of his actions, but she also knows that she is there. When did the rumours start? How did they start? Was it by accident that the Phantom was seen which started the stories?

I have no idea if this is answered by the book. I make no apologies that I've only read it once and that I'm currently rereading it and studying it now. My first read through I was just so excited to keep reading, I'm sure I missed lots. But it's a curious topic....in both mediums, we get history (some more than others), but I don't remember ever reading how "The Phantom of the Opera" became a story that many people know.

(again, hope you're feeling better soon, Fay! I need someone to debate with Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:56 am

Once again, all that was posted on Sunday is gone, and I cannot recall what I've said. I notified Niki, but she has not responded.

Yesterday I didn't feel like typing all day. I was on an IM with someone for three hours and that tired me out.

Very quickly, the book only mentions Mme. Giry as a box attendant or usher. Erik may have known her for as long as she started to work there, which was shortly after the Garnier was completed.

Commonly, construction workers built temporary homes on the site where they worked, but we only know of one who wanted to remain. Erik. All the tunnels, trapdoors and hidden passages he created for himself. He had to have a helper, so he chose Mme. Giry. Unlike a traditional novel, Leroux does not tell us much about her as it didn't move the plot. He was a journalist after all.

******************************

The ring in the novel was the gold band Erik gave to Christine. It was this ring she wore around her neck and the one Erik had her promise to bring back to him when he died.

In the 2004 film, the ring was Raoul's which Christine wore around her neck. After snatching it from her neck, the Phantom give it back to her when she'd dressed in the wedding gown.

Prior to the kiss, Christine slips the ring on. Finally, after the Phantom releases Christine to be with Raoul, she comes to him briefly and gives him the ring.

At the end of the film, old Raoul sees the rose with the velvet ribbon and ring on Christine's grave.

Having said all that, what is significant in the rings since each event is opposite the other?

Raoul leaves the music box with monkey at Christine's grave.
What is significant about the offerings each brought Christine?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:49 pm

Without Sundays text here, I don't remember either what we have already said. I am however a little confused.....I thought in the book that Christine was wearing Erik's gold ring. I thought Raoul noticed it on her finger while she was singing onstage? Again, could be confusing it with another story, but I remember she freaked when she lost it.

The movie drives me nuts for this! Firstly....and I'm not in a bash Christine mode here.....but how stupid is she that she believes wearing an engagement ring in plain view around her neck would make any difference from wearing an engagement ring on her finger? I don't blame the Phantom for ripping it off her neck. I know the part where he places the ring in her hand in the wedding dress. What drives me is when she gives him back the ring. You know in his mind that he was grasping at that hope that she had come back for him, not to give him the ring. I just want to smack her. But I assume she does it as a way of remembering her.

Before we get to the tombstone.....I'm surprised that Phantom would give her a ring that had belonged to Raoul (I remember typing this before). In the movie we are never told whether or not the Phantom ever leaves the Opera house. According to Mme Giry, we could assume he hasn't, where in the novel, I'm pretty sure we're told he ventures out. I mean, he at least took one cab ride to and from the Persians. My only thought is that it was the only ring that Phantom had, so he had to make do with the fact that Raoul had first given it to Christine. The gold ring belonged to Erik's mother. I remember him saying he found it and gave it back to her. (then again, could be other story). I know he wants her to wear it every day until it is revealed that he has died, then he asked her to bury it with him.

One similarity that strikes me here about the Old Raoul scenes. When he has won the music box, he has his little song, and mentions "will you still play when the rest of us are dead." Then at the gravestone, he places the music box and sees the rose and the ring. The rose is obviously fresh, which means the Phantom is still alive. To me it's like the same idea. The Phantom will likely still be around. I mean, old Raoul doesn't look in very good shape. My first thought was Parkinsons, but I'm not sure. Christine has already passed. The one thing I'm not sure about is why the music box holds such significance to Christine and Raoul. From the movie, she only sees it twice....once when she wakes in the swan bed, and at that horrible scene at the end that makes me cry everytime, watching the Phantom cry and sing Masquerade along with the music box. Old Raoul said he recognized it right away, "every detail exactly as she said".

Lastly, I get the timing of the Music box. That was when the auction was held, Raoul was able to buy it, bring it out to her grave. But, as for the Phantom, why now? What was it about this time that made him decide 49 years later to place that ring at her tomb (yes, I know she was only dead for 2 years). Curious.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:02 pm

That's what I said sweetie, in the novel Christine had Erik's gold band, but in the movie it's Raoul's ring.

What was significant about the rings? Did a make a different who gave her the ring and who gave it to who at death?

Anything significance in the music box with monkey and the rose with the ribbon and ring?

Sorry your head hurts. Did you take anything for it? Hope you feel better.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:08 pm

Sorry, sometimes my reading gets funny with headaches Smile

Significance of the rings. To me, they mean what they mean, symbol of love and possibly marriage. In the movie, surprising for me, he asks to be buried with the ring as it was his mothers. But at the end when the Persian is in the Louis Philippe bedroom, Erik mentions that's all he has left of his mother, and I think he put a bitter comment in there. But, even through some of the things I've seen through family services, no matter how horrible a mother is, mamy kids cannot help but care. I don't know how many times I've heard kids say that they hate their mother, but she's still their mother, and they get mad at themselves for feeling that. So, I suppose every child wants to have a part of his mother.

I'm really shocked that the Phantom would reuse Raoul's ring. Something about that really never sat right. Giving box 5 to Raoul, like you said, was the ultimate insult. I find it hard to believe, unless he had no other option, that he would like to give Christine this ring.

I thought I'd answered what I thought on the gravesite stuff. I wasn't sure about some stuff, but I think it's up there somewhere Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:24 am

With the rings being different in the movie compared to the book, I feel the filmmakers were trying to bring about the tribute of love which we see at the end with the Phantom returning the ring to Christine and Raoul giving her the music box. If you noticed, one offered her a gift from the other. It was as if they both had forgiven each other as well as showed their love for her.

Yes, the Phantom taking Raoul's ring bothered me. It seemed he didn't have a ring of his own to give. Don't know what they were thinking except for what I mentioned in the first paragraph.

In the novel, the ring was indeed very special to Erik and so it was a deep bond created when Christine kept her promise and returned the ring upon his death.

Now that was my opinion. There is no right or wrong.

***********************************************************

Just a thought; it's interesting how the movie never says a thing about his life before the gypsies. You would think Erik would have told Mme. Giry his name, and how he got mixed up with the gypsies.

His education and refinement still baffles me if he raised himself beneath the opera house. How would he become all Mme. Giry said he was architect, designer, magician, composer, etc. just by growing up in the opera house. Could it be from all that reading he did in their vast library? According to The Phantom of Manhatten it was.

Question Question Question
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:36 pm

For the rings, I think we've pretty well covered that. As for the phantom and Mme Giry, I get so frustrated. When Mme Giry saved Erik as a child, he was around 7 or so (I think that's how old Mme Giry was give or take). At that age, a normal 7 year old would be able to read and write. Where is he getting the books from? The relationship with Mme Giry and the Phantom pisses me off. We see her rescue him, we have no idea of his past, as far as the novel itself is concerned, we are led to believe that she did not have a relationship with him (even just friendship). Why he doesn't tell her his name, that one is weird. I'd never thought of that. We also have no idea of how he came to be with the gypsies. Somewhere I read that his parents sold him or gave him away. Another place says he ran away and joined (As I've mentioned about 100 times already, I get confused with the stories. That's why I'm putting in so much effort rereading).

Finally, I mentioned above how he was getting these books? In the movie it seems like he never leaves the Opera house. Would there have been a library in the Opera house? Like I said, doubtful that Mme Giry would have brought him some, the only thing she does is catch his note, and knows about the secret hallway and the way to the lair. At first I was going to say that he'd never be able to become an architect, designer etc. But if you have 24 hours/day, 7 days per week....what else do you have to do? I always wondered how he got the organ down there Smile

Just a final note: I have not read the Phantom of Manhatten. It seems that alot of true phans do not like it at all. Without giving away the story, I would like to hear what everyone has to say about the book, whether you like it, dislike it, the thoughts of basing POTO 2 on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:01 am

I totally agree. The movie had too many unanswered questions. Those were the very questions that went through my mind. This is why I say if this screenplay had been submitted by anyone other than ALW's people, it would have tossed in the round file.

None of Erik's experience or training could have evolved as it had from merely living in the Opera House.

By the way, young Erik in the movie was nine years old and I assume young Mme. Giry was about thirteen or fourteen. How do I know he was nine? From the companion book.

The Phantom of Manhatten did try to answer these questions, but didn't do it very well. I will begin a new thread for discussions on this book and hopefully you will get other POV's as well as mine.
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:51 pm

Ok, a little off the age mark, but I knew they would have been close. In my thoughts, Mme Giry of the movie would probably be in her late 30's. She's still living 49 years later, so she could be a bit older still. My thought process was that Meg must be close to Christine's age (16 in the movie, correct me if I'm wrong). In that time, it was not odd for women to start their families at 19-20 years old. That's how I figured it, but I could be complete wrong. Who knows. (I did however just ordered the companion book for the movie from amazon... thanks for the tip Smile

I just don't understand. I'm not a published author, so I'm not sure of the process, but there must be some kind of feedback that a writer would get on their work, would they not? Perhaps everyone who doesn't know Phantom loves it, but the Phans, not so much. What worries me is, why would ALW take a chance on something that his loyal fans seem to despise? He created the Phantom we see today. He knows how loyal the Phans are, and yet he's still going through with POTO 2, from a book not well received by the Phans? He's a strange one, isn't he?
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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:46 am

Depending on the area, many girls started families at a young age. In the 2004 film, Meg is supposed to be close to Christine's age. In the original novel, she was much younger.

*******************************
ALW, like must filmmakers or businessmen are only looking to make money. They have a vision and assume they know better. He probably figures with the right cast, music and set the audience will eat it up. The thought is, if the story made money once, it can do it again.

This I know from personal experience, because I asked a filmmaker, not ALW, but someone I knew, why did they want to remake a movie or do a sequel. That was the response I got. It made money before, it will do it again. Lame, but true.


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PostSubject: Re: Leroux's novel vs 2004 movie   Today at 5:16 pm

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