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‘Phantom’ cues Wilson for tuner’s adaptation

Really Useful Group aims for October start

While they continue searching for their masked lead, Andrew Lloyd Webber and director Joel Schumacher have set Patrick Wilson in the role of Raoul in “Phantom of the Opera,” the screen adaptation of Lloyd Webber’s musical.

The casting comes as Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group preps the film for an October start. The composer got the rights back from Warner Bros., which developed versions of the blockbuster musical for 15 years to no avail

Really Useful began brokering territory sales at AFM. WB gets first crack at coming aboard as domestic distrib, though it’s believed they’re waiting to see the cast before committing.

Improved profile

In “Phantom,” Wilson will play the boyfriend of the young singer who becomes the obsession of the phantom.

Stage trained, Wilson has already won Tony nominations for his work in “Oklahoma!” and “The Full Monty,” parlaying that into the lead role in “Angels in America,” HBO’s six-hour miniseries adaptation. Wilson stars alongside Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson, with Mike Nichols directing.

The CAA-repped Wilson also landed one of the four leads in “The Alamo,” Disney’s historical drama that is being directed by John Lee Hancock. Wilson plays military commander William Travis, alongside Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton and Jason Patric.

There is no definitive casting for the lead role, which was originated onstage by Michael Crawford; Antonio Banderas, Hugh Jackman and Nicolas Cage have all been mentioned. The role of Christine might be filled first, with a bunch of young actresses singing for Lloyd Webber. Rumored contenders include “Dawson’s Creek” star Katie Holmes and Anne Hathaway (“The Princess Diaries”).

Lloyd Webber is producing the film from a script that he wrote with Schumacher.

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