The star of this summer's The Mask of Zorro is reportedly considering covering up again to play Erik, the deformed title character in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of The Phantom of the Opera.
No less than Lloyd Webber wants the actor for the role--last linked to John Travolta, the composer tells today's Daily Variety.
Another source says, in the Hollywood trade paper, that Banderas has been offered the part and "expressed a huge interest in doing it."
The only stumbling block appears to be scheduling. Banderas is set to spend the summer directing his first feature film, the black comedy Crazy in Alabama, starring movie-star wife Melanie Griffith.
Hollywood has been trying to make a Phantom movie since 1991. Although Travolta's name has been most closely associated with the project in the last year, he has never signed on the dotted line. (The film also remains minus a director and writer.)
The Spanish-born Banderas, 37, who made his first impression on U.S. moviegoers in 1993's Philadelphia, has about as many professional music credits as Travolta: He performed on the soundtrack for 1995's Desperado and costarred with Madonna in 1996' Evita.
He's also scheduled to sing Tuesday at Lloyd Webber's 50th birthday celebration in London. His set list: Selections from Phantom.
The Banderas news is not setting well with a hard-core batch of Phantom fans, dedicated to preserving the memory of Michael Crawford's Erik. (Crawford, being the actor who originated the role on stage in London and Broadway.)
"So, it goes from bad to worse. Travolta is a terrible singer, but Banderas cannot even hold a note!," the No Phantom Movie Website declares. "He's just another useless Hollywood name, but one who is even more awful to contemplate than Travolta (which is saying something)."