The movie begins with a car chase in Chicago, which leads to a scuffle between a man ostensibly named Jude Rosario (Saif Ali Khan) and an American male known as Matthew Broody. The scuffle ends with Broody falling into the icy waters of Chicago River, and his body missing. This results in Rosario being arrested and convicted for murder.
A flashback of six months ago shows the office of the Indian RAW chief Roy (Sabyasachi Chakrabarty), where he and his trusted men (Rajesh Tailang, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub) plan a daring covert operation. The man known as Jude Rosario in the opening sequence is shown to be Captain Daniyal Khan, a dead-end ex-soldier with a completely deadened sense of life and death is pulled out of oblivion and pressed into service by the spy agency to wreak vengeance on the men who planned the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. He agrees on the assurance that he will be reinstated in the Indian army to the same rank from which he was court-martialled, which meant regaining the respect of his estranged father. His only team member, Nawaz Mistry (Katrina Kaif) helps him find his first target Sajid Mir (Mir Sarwar) at a cricket match. On reaffirming his identity after breaking into his apartment Daniyal rigs up an explosion killing Sajid Mir, which makes the headlines causing an investigation by the Pakistani ISI.
Coming back to the present, Daniyal aka Jude has landed in the same jail as David Headley (J.Brandon Hill). He contacts Nawaz, in order to acquire money to buy a battery, as a replacement of another one which holds a certain poison. The poison is untraceable as it could kill a person whose tongue even comes in contact with it with a heart attack. After killing David Headley, Matthew Broody who supposedly died upon falling in the river is found alive and Daniyal is released as his earlier sentence is rendered null and void. Meanwhile, ISI agents gather information about Daniyal Khan.
Daniyal and Nawaz, through Syria, go to Pakistan to take down the last two perpetrators, Sahabuddin Umvi and Haaris Saeed (Shahnawaaz Pradhan). In Pakistan, they make plans of killing Saeed with the help of local restaurant owner Khalid (Midat Sahab) by an explosive planted in the mic used during his public speech. However, their plan fails leading Daniyal to pursue Saeed in a car and shoot him dead, also causing an explosion. Umvi is killed with the help of a nurse Amina Bi (Sohaila Kapur) who replaces his regular syringe with a poisoned one.
With the Pakistani army and ISI pursuing them, Daniyal and Nawaz make their way to the coast to escape through the Arabian sea. Their accomplices get caught and interrogated for information or killed. While they are escaping on a boat, the Pakistani military finds out about it and sends patrol boats to apprehend them. While hiding in the waters, Daniyal gets shot by the military and dies. Nawaz later gets rescued by the Indian Navy. Later, she goes to the Taj Hotel and has two cups of tea fulfilling a promise earlier made to Daniyal.Saif Ali Khan as Captain Daniyal Khan
Katrina Kaif as nawaz mistry, former RAW Agent
Mir Sarwar as Sajid Mir
J. Brandon Hill as David Coleman Headley
Shahnawaz Pradhan as Haaris Saeed
Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Samit Mishra, RAW officer
Rajesh Tailang as Alok, RAW officer
Sabyasachi Chakrabarty as Roy, RAW chief
Middat Khan as Khalid (Restaurant owner in Lahore)
Qazi Touqeer in Afghan Jalebi song
Jameel Khan in Afghan Jalebi wedding song
Kaizaad Kotwal as Pakistan ambassador
Mukul Nag as Qureshi
Sumit Gulati as Shehzad
Sohaila Kapur as nurse, Amina Bi
Yaad Grewal as man in Sajid Mir's apartment
Denzil Smith as ISI Chief Haider
Ashwath Bhatt as ISI agent Firoz
Pooran Kiri as ISI agent Javed
Anoop Gautam as Pakistani Commando Noor Mohammad
Mohan Maharishi as the National Security Advisor - India
Hemant Mahaur as Pakistani boat man.
Kabir Khan and author S. Hussain Zaidi had come together to collaborate on Kabir's then untitled film, based on the scenario post-26/11 Mumbai attacks with Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif signed in leading roles. The screenplay of the film is an adaptation and is co-written in conjunction with Hussain's then unreleased book. The film earlier had a working title as Daniyal Khan, before being titled Phantom. Saif Ali Khan and Kaif have reportedly learnt Kurdish and Arabic for their roles. The plot of the Phantom weaves a fictional story to kill the perpetrators of 2008 Mumbai attacks- Sajid Mir, David Coleman Headley, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi (named as Sabahuddin Umvi) and Hafiz Saeed (named as Hariz Saeed). The film also depicts incidents similar to the Assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh and Boston Marathon bombing. Kashmiri Sufi singer Qazi Touqeer featured in the Afghan Jalebi song.
Filming began on October 2013 in Beirut, Lebanon. Around 10% of the film was shot in Lebanon in areas including downtown Beirut, the populous area of Khandaq al-Ghameeq, and the mountainous areas of Kfardebian, with the latter two representing Syria. The shoot of the film required a recreation of a Syrian refugee camp, which involved almost 400 locals to act as rebel militias. The sets of the film were so realistic that many people in the area believed actual militia groups had set up camp, and the Lebanese army began circling planes over the set. However the confusion was cleared after the first day. Due to the country's recent political turmoil, security was provided to the crew. In January 2014, action sequences were shot in Kashmir near Pahalgam hill station and in a ski resort in Gulmarg for five days. The scenes involved a blast sequence in the peak of winter, when the entire valley was covered in a 10-foot blanket of snow. In March 2014, filming continued in a small town in Malerkotla, Punjab where the area was recreated to resemble a Pakistani marketplace. The entire area was dressed up to look authentic, complete with Urdu hoarding, posters and flags. The makers narrowed down Malerkotla due to its mosque, local people, narrow lanes and overall architecture, which creates the verisimilitude of a town from Pakistan. In July 2014, filming resumed in London, United Kingdom near the Houses of Parliament on the banks of River Thames, Charing Cross station, The Oval cricket ground in Lambeth and Ealing road in Wembley. The next shooting schedule was done in various locations in Vancouver, Canada in August 2014 including the centre of West Hastings and Thurlow streets which involved several high-octane chase sequences. In September 2014, the last schedule of the film was completed in Mumbai, with scenes being shot at the city's eastern ferry wharf, near the Gateway of India, and at Filmistan Studios in the suburb of Goregaon. An underwater action sequence has been shot by Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif at the Orca Dive Club in Mumbai.
The trailer of the film was released online on 25 July 2015. A launch event was held on the same day with the presence of Kabir Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala, Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif. A promotional song titled 'Afghan Jalebi (Ya Baba) was released on 30 July 2015. The video was choreographed by Ahmed Khan. Other promotional songs, 'Saware' was released on 13 August 2015 and 'Nachda' on 25 August 2015. The world premiere of the film is scheduled on the closing night of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne on 27 August 2015.
Saif Ali Khan and Kaif have also promoted the film on several Indian reality television shows including Dance Plus, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Reloaded and Indian Idol Junior. On 23 August 2015, they made an appearance at the 2015 Pro Kabaddi League Final.
The songs featured in the film were composed by Pritam, while lyrics are by Amitabh Bhattacharya and Kausar Munir. The music rights have been acquired by T-Series
BizAsia gave a rating of 7 out of 10 stating Pritam does a good job on bringing the flavours of Western Pakistan home to Bollywood fitting perfectly with the theme of the film, particularly praising "Afghan Jalebi". Bollywood Hungama rated the soundtrack 3 out of 5 calling it the surprise of the season. The Times of India and Koimoi also gave a rating of 3 out 5 to the soundtrack. Médecins Sans Frontières sought legal actions against the films production team due to unlicensed and what they state is a misleading use of their name and logo by one of the main characters in the movie.
Phantom was released on 28 August 2015. It released in 2600 screens in India. Phantom was banned in Pakistan following petition by Hafiz Saeed. Lahore High court banned the film.
Meena Iyer of The Times of India gave Phantom 3.5 stars, calling it an oversimplified but patriotic thriller. Bollywood Hungama gave the film 3.5 stars calling Khan's performance " focussed, clinical and precise, as the role demands" while stating that Kaif is "able support " while performing action scenes. It also praised the background score. Rajeev Masand of IBN Live gave it 2 stars calling it slow paced, boring and a " wish fulfillment fantasy". Shubha Shetty-Saha of Mid-day gave it 3 stars stating the "powerful story is diluted by the use of too many cinematic liberties and a rather lazy screenplay", "Flaws aside, it talks of a real concern facing all of us, even while taking a flight of fantasy". Shweta Kaushal of Hindustan Times gave it 2.5 stars calling Khan and Kaif's performances "pedestrian" but calling the work of Sohaila Kapur, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Sabyasachi Chakraborty "power-packed".
Phantom grossed ₹8.46 crore (US$1.3 million) on its first day. On the second day it grew approximately 50% reaching a total of ₹21.24 crore (US$3.3 million). By the end of the first weekend, the receipts were ₹33.75 crore (US$5.3 million) nett. Phantom had a decent Monday as it grossed ₹4.25 crore (US$660,000). The film grossed ₹3.50 crore (US$550,000) on its first Tuesday. On its sixth day, it collected ₹3.31 crore (US$520,000). The first week domestic collection of the film stands at ₹47.40 crore (US$7.4 million). Phantom grossed ₹93 lakh (US$150,000) on its 8th day.
Its first week overseas collection was ₹10.97 crore (US$1.7 million). By the end of second weekend, Phantom grossed ₹1.75 crore (US$270,000) in U.K-Ireland, ₹37.32 lakh (US$58,000) in Australia, ₹12.01 lakh (US$19,000) in New Zealand.