My latest academic publication, a book chapter titled “The Transplanted Superhero: The Phantom Franchise and Australian Popular Culture”, has been published in an edited collection of essays titled Superheroes on World Screens. This volume is edited by Rayna Denison and Rachel Mizsei-Ward and is published by the University Press of Mississippi.
My chapter looks at the production history of The Phantom feature film (1996), which starred Billy Zane in the lead role, and was directed by the Australian filmmaker, Simon Wincer. It explored the historical factors which have contributed to the enduring popularity of The Phantom comic strip and comic magazine in Australia, and how the character’s unique pop culture status inspired a group of Australian film producers and screenwriters to bring The Phantom to the big screen. This chapter also looks at how the globalisation of Hollywood film production eventually saw Village Roadshow Pictures (Australia) become a key production partner in The Phantom feature film, which was partly shot at the Warner Roadshow Movie World Studio in Queensland, Australia.
Writing in the “Introduction” to Superheroes on World Screens, Rayna Denison, Rachel Mizsei-Ward and Derek Johnston make the following observations about my chapter:
Despite being a relative box office disappointment, The Phantom film offers a new lens through which to consider the notions of the popular, the national, and transnational in superhero filmmaking. Through such examples, it is possible to see how “American” films are co-opted by local communities, aware of high-profile American superhero texts being produced by and in their local communities. Consequently, chapters like Patrick’s have the potential to challenge understandings of how the superhero operates (as genre, character, and cultural archetype), providing a means to reconceptualise these figures as less intrinsically American (pg.12)
Superheroes on World Screens can be purchased online directly from the University Press of Mississippi, as well as through leading online bookstores. An online preview for Superheroes on World Screens is also available on Google Books.(Cover image courtesy of Previews World)