Universal have been trying to reboot their classic monster, The Mummy, for some time now, and some bizarre news today shows just how keen the studio are in getting this new version off the ground.
While Len Wiseman (Underworld) is already onboard to direct, and Star Trek producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are producing, Universal have just hired The Hunger Games screenwriter Billy Ray to write a new script for The Mummy. The weird thing is, Universal already hired a writer a year ago, and he is still writing the script!
Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts was hired last year, and has been frantically working on the script for the new version of the Mummy. The story is to be set in modern times, and Universal are planning a more serious version of their classic monster after the Brendan Fraser trilogy. However, desperate not to have any mistakes, Billy Ray is writing a sort of backup script should Universal not be pleased with what Spaihts delivers.
Universal are also wanting to get the film into production ASAP, and are still looking at a 2014 release. A report by Vulture states that should Universal end up being happy with both scripts, then they will join them together using the best bits from each. Should Spaihts and Ray end up working together, the report also claims that the pair could end up taking on roles for the script. One would be the “structure and body man” and one as a “character and dialogue man”.
Just how this would work out I don’t know, because clearly at this point both writers will be working against the other in the hope their script is better?
When Wiseman was first attached to the film, he was extremely excited about Universal’s plans for the reboot. Here is what he said last year:
“‘The Mummy’ is one of Universal’s long standing, iconic characters, well before the Brendan Fraser movies… This is such a different thing. What was attractive to me…There is still a script to be written, and all of that….But the pitch was to go with a much different tone. It was a Mummy like I’d never heard of before. It’s nothing like what you would expect, at all, oddly. I was picturing Egypt, and the sand swept settings. The mummy wrappings. When I heard what they were wanting to actually do with it, it was shocking.”
He continued: “It doesn’t have anything to do with the Brendan Fraser films, and it is not a remake of any kind. It’s a darker twist on the material, a scarier version.”