Gerard Butler offered lead in Schumacher's Phantom of the Opera

He's not yet a household face, but Scottish actor Gerard Butler has been offered the starring role as the man behind the mask in out director Joel Schumacher's musical feature The Phantom of the Opera. Butler, who most recently appeared in Reign of Fire, next stars in Paramount's Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

Meanwhile, Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries) and Emmy Rossum (Songcatcher) have emerged as the top choices to play Phantom's female lead, Christine. Theater impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group is producing the project, which goes into production in October. A domestic distributor has yet to come on board.

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