October 19, 1998 12:00 AM

It looks like Antonio Banderas — who hid himself in “The Mask of Zorro” — is about to mask his face again. The sulky Spanish hunk is the choice of composer-producer Andrew Lloyd Webber to star in the movie version of “The Phantom of the Opera,” which is finally preparing to roll for Warner Bros., reports USA Today. Lloyd Webber is currently in Bombay producing an international Indian musical to be directed by Shekhar Kapur (who directed last year’s Oscar-nominated “Elizabeth,” with Cate Blanchett). Kapur will direct the movie “Phantom,” said Lloyd Webber’s spokesman Peter Brown. As for the Banderas-Lloyd Webber connection, the actor, 39, played the singing narrator in the 1997 movie “Evita.” It is believed what cinched the “Phantom” role for him, though, was his delivering songs from the show for Lloyd Webber at his 50th birthday celebration in 1998.

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