See the Cast of ‘The Phantom’ Then and Now
Based on the classic comic-book character, the 1996 film ‘The Phantom’ starred Billy Zane as a seemingly immortal superhero who used his powers to fight crime. Sounds a lot like most of the superheroes we love these days, but comic-book movies of the ’90s were definitely a little (okay, a lot) sillier. Seventeen years later, we take a look back at the cast of this campy superhero flick and see what they’re up to now.
Billy Zane, The Phantom/Kit Walker
Then: When ‘The Phantom’ was in development in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the role of the titular hero was intended for Dolph Lundgren. Bruce Campbell was also at one time attached to the part before it went to Billy Zane, who did some considerable muscle-building for the role.
Now: You probably know Zane best for his bad-guy role in ‘Titanic’ as Kate Winslet’s betrothed and for his cameo in ‘Zoolander.’ (“Listen to your friend Billy Zane. He’s a cool dude.”) Zane continues to do a lot of cheesy movies, including recent films ‘The Roommate’ and ‘The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption.’
Treat Williams, Xander Drax
Then: ‘Mulholland Falls’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ star Treat Williams played the wonderfully named villainous businessman Xander Drax.
Now: Williams has a long and impressive resume, including recent roles in ‘Deadfall’ and ’127 Hours.’ He’s also appeared on shows like ‘Hawaii Five-0′ and ‘White Collar.’
Kristy Swanson, Diana Palmer
Then: Kristy Swanson was a huge deal in the ’90s, with roles in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (the movie version) and ‘Higher Learning.’ In ‘The Phantom,’ Swanson played Diana Palmer, our hero’s love interest.
Now: Swanson mostly acts in indie flicks and television shows these days — she’s appeared on ‘One Tree Hill’ and had a recurring role on ‘Psych.’ She also competed on ‘Skating with Celebrities’ and went on to marry her partner, Lloyd Eisler.
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sala
Then: Back in 1996, Catherine Zeta-Jones was a relatively unknown actress. And though Jenny McCarthy auditioned for the role of Sala in ‘The Phantom,’ the part eventually went to Zeta-Jones, who wouldn’t become a household name until two years later in ‘The Mask of Zorro.’
Now: Zeta-Jones is now married to Michael Douglas, and though she took a brief break from acting, she returned last year with a bang, appearing in ‘Rock of Ages,’ ‘Lay the Favorite’ and ‘Broken City.’ She most recently starred in Steven Soderbergh’s final theatrical film, ‘Side Effects,’ and will play an assassin in the upcoming action flick ‘Red 2.’
James Remar, Quill
Then: Known for his roles in ‘The Warriors’ and ’48 Hrs.,’ James Remar played Quill, the mercenary who killed the Phantom’s father.
Now: You probably recognize Remar from the Showtime series ‘Dexter,’ in which he plays the titular anti-hero’s deceased father. He also had a recurring role on ‘Sex and the City’ and has appeared in ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘X-Men: First Class.’
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, The Great Kabai Sengh
Then: Japanese-American actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa starred in ‘The Last Emperor,’ ‘Showdown in Little Tokyo’ and ‘Mortal Kombat’ before signing on to play the role of pirate Kabai Sengh in ‘The Phantom.’
Now: Tagawa recently showed up on the TV series ‘Revenge,’ and he reprised the role of Shang Tsung in the second season of ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy.’ Up next, you can see him alongside Keanu Reeves in ’47 Ronin.’
David Proval, Charlie Zephro
Then: David Proval played bad-guy Charlie Zephro in ‘The Phantom.’ (This movie had a lot of bad guys!) But prior to that, audiences knew him from Martin Scorsese’s ‘Mean Streets,’ the film that launched his career.
Now: Proval is probably known best to mainstream audiences for his recurring role on ‘The Sopranos’ as Richie Aprile. In 2007, he reunited with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa in the comedy ‘Balls of Fury.’ These days, he spends a lot of time doing work in indie movies.