The New York Times reports that the "Phantom" film — directed by Joel Schumacher — is expected to premiere at the famed opera house in December 2004. The motion picture, set to hit cinemas over the Christmas holiday, stars Gerard Butler in the title role, Emmy Rossum as Christine and Patrick Wilson as Raoul, and will include one new song by Lloyd Webber and lyricist Charles Hart. The soundtrack of the film is also scheduled for a 2004 holiday release. Based on the classic Gaston Leroux novel, The Phantom of the Opera features music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart and additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe. Harold Prince directed both the London and New York premieres. The New York production — originally starring Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman — won seven 1988 Tony Awards including one for Best Musical. The score includes such tunes as "Think of Me," "The Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," "The Point of No Return" and the title tune.
The Paris Opera House cost over 47 million francs and took 15 years to build, with initial work beginning in 1861. The 17-story building — including seven underground stories — seats 2,000.