LONDON – Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber says the long awaited sequel to "Phantom of the Opera" should be ready at the end of 2009, with a possible simultaneous opening on three continents.
Lloyd Webber told The Times of London that he hopes the new musical, to be called "Phantom: Love Never Dies," will open in New York, London and possibly Shanghai or another Asian city.
"We've been into the feasibility of rehearsing three companies at once and opening very fast in the three territories," he said. "The one which really interests me would be China. I think to open 'Love Never Dies' in Shanghai would be an enormous thing."
He said the locale of the celebrated musical will be switched from the Paris Opera to New York's Coney Island. The sequel will be set about 10 years after the original, which has been seen by approximately 80 million theatergoers in 124 cities worldwide.
And who will play the Phantom? Lloyd Webber is keeping that secret for now.
"We are pretty clear who our Phantom is going to be — I can't say who," he said.
The Times said possible candidates for the role include Hugh Jackman and Gerard Butler, who played the Phantom in the 2004 film version of the musical.