Butler, who will appear in the upcoming sequel "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life," has also appeared in "Reign of Fire" and in the title role in Wes Craven's updated "Dracula 2000." The Glasgow-born 33-year-old is a dark horse candidate for the role created onstage by Michael Crawford.
Schumacher has reportedly passed on actors such as Hugh Jackman, Nicolas Cage and current Nine star Antonio Banderas in a search of a younger cast.
Hathaway has appeared on the stage in the Encores! concert revival of Carnival. The actress is perhaps best known for her turn opposite Julie Andrews in "The Princess Diaries." Rossum appeared in the television movie "The Audrey Hepburn Story" as the young starlet and in the film "Passionada." Both actresses (20 and 16, respectively) are said to vying for the role originated on Broadway by Sarah Brightman.
Patrick Wilson is the only definite casting, thus far, for the upcoming screen adaptation. The stage actor, who has played on Broadway in The Full Monty and Oklahoma!, will play Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, the role created by the late Steve Barton.
* Andrew Lloyd Webber recently bought the Phantom film rights back from Warner Brothers. "Batman & Robin" helmer Joel Schumacher will direct the projected $50-$60 million film. Filming is to begin next autumn in the United Kingdom.
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 Broadway production won six 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. Howard McGillin currently heads the Broadway company as the disfigured Phantom who falls in love with a naive chorus girl, Christine Daae.