So we chatted briefly (seeing as there was a large queue - well, mob - forming behind me) and caught up. The weirdest moment was probably when Glen said "Oh, is this the one who writes?", to which she said I was. He took off his top hat and gloves and shook my hand. See, when I sent Angela all the random bits of Phantom fic, she read them to Glen, and he liked them. He's had a book published himself, and told me in no uncertain terms that I should make a go of it as far as writing is concerned. Which was nice. My reputation precedes me, apparently.
Of course, it would help immensely if I had the bloody energy to write anything, and if my creativity wasn't slowly withering from sheer exhaustion.
Upon checking Eni's DJ - 998! - to find out if she'd put anything more coherent about Finding Neverland on there, I read that she got to see the trailer for the upcoming Phantom movie. I didn't; I must've gone too early. I'm reminded that it's opening in December.
This fills me a dread I can feel deep in my gut and the base of my spine. It's happening. It's ploughing on ahead.
Where's all the hype? Surely something like this should be more widely-known? They wanted to pull in all those non-fan audience figures, didn't they? So, where's all the advertising? Where's their 'big star', huh?
And despite the dread, I'm actually slightly excited, which both annoys and sickens me. I don't want to be excited about this when I don't have good reason to, and I don't want to be dreading it. I want to be on the edge of my seat, on tenterhooks, waiting for it. I want to be the first in and the last out of that cinema, my ticket pre-booked months ago, but only if I thought it'd be worth it.
Because obviously I'll see it. It would be far too hypocritical of me not to. And obviously, I'll like it on the face of things, because it's a movie of Phantom, and it could've been a lot worse. It could still have Antonio Banderas and Charlotte Church and all the other horrendous, ridiculous casting decisions in the line up. Thank heaven for small mercies, I suppose. But beyond the sheer face value, I know in my heart of hearts that I'll find more wrong with this movie than right, because it won't be perfect. I know nothing's ever perfect, but this is one of those things that should have been.
It's just a movie adaptation, I know, and movie adaptations do fall short of the mark a lot of the time. But the thing is... if and when Phantom ever closes in London - which is inevitable, but hopefully not for many, many more years - this movie is going to be the definitive version for future generations to experience it, just like Evita is, or the Cats video. Much as I love the video adaptation of Cats, there's an awful lot wrong with it. There's a song missing, it's not filmed in the theatre it was designed for, and even though some of the faces are there that made it what it is, several of them - like Brian Blessed - aren't. These musicals are designed for the stage, and to put them on film requires a hell of a production team, and a certain amount of vision. They will translate to celluloid, certainly, and beautifully so, at that, but only if they're done right. I just have this horrible feeling that Joel Schumacher's direction just isn't going to do it justice.
If this film is going to be the definitive Phantom, doesn't it deserve the best it can get? Doesn't it deserve more than arguments about casting, the threat of omitted songs, newly composed pieces for an Oscar bid, a 'young', trendy cast list, and the alienation of the fans that got it where it is?
It's like... if the movie of Farscape goes ahead, if the ratings are successful enough in the States (because obviously, our tiny little country won't count for anything), and they tried to cast a bunch of A-list movie stars instead of the people we know and love, or if they made a movie of Buffy and did the same. Think how much that would suck. Think how much you'd be dreading it. Now multiply that by about twenty, and you've got me at this moment in time.
It's just a musical. Not the end of the world. But dammit, it's something I'm passionate about, and I'm fed up of people screwing things up.
I'm wasting way too much energy on this. If you think it's bad now, wait til I've seen it...