Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced that a Phantom of the Opera sequel is coming at the end of 2009. Phantom: Love Never Dies will be set a decade or so after the original installment, and The Phantom (yes, he’s still alive) has relocated to, then very popular, Coney Island of Brooklyn, New York. The production will have a historic simultaneous opening in three cities — on Broadway in New York, London’s West End, and Shanghai.

Webber isn’t revealing any names as far as who has been cast as the Phantom or Christime (who will also be in the sequel) but does say that the roles have been pretty much cast at this point. The Times of London says that Hugh Jackman and Gerard Butler are possible candidates. Butler played the Phantom in the 2004 film adaptation. Jack O’Brien (The Full Monty, Hairspray) will direct the production, with sets designed by five time Tony Award winner Bob Crowley (Carousel, The History Boys, Mary Poppins). If the production is as big of a hit as I expect it to be, I’m sure a big screen Hollywood adaptation won’t be far behind.

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