Universal have not had much luck getting their Mummy reboot off the ground. Len Wiseman (Underworld) was first to be attached to direct and then leave, and he was followed y Andres Muschietti (Mama). However, just a few weeks ago it was announced that Universal had hired Alex Kurtzman (producer of films like Star Trek Into Darkness, Now You See Me, Cowboys and Aliens) and Chris Morgan (The Fast and the Furious franchise) to breathe new life into the Universal classic monsters camp, and set up a kind of Marvel-like universe, linking all the classic monsters together from stand-alone films.
The studio is in early stages of developing a substantial new production endeavor that will expand and unify a network of classic characters and stories. The architects of that narrative will be Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan. Kurtzman recently broke with partner Roberto Orci, but his big-scale projects have included Transformers, Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man. Morgan is the writer behind five installments of The Fast And The Furious, which has been Universal’s most reliably lucrative franchise.
The Mummy was the first film on the list to get made, and now it appears that Universal want Kurtzman himself to direct. The Mummy already has a confirmed release date of April 22nd 2016, and Kurtzman is in final negotiations to helm the reboot.
“Over the course of developing The Mummy, Alex has demonstrated such clarity and passion about this character and mythology,” said co-president of production Jeff Kirschenbaum. “He knows why The Mummy has fascinated us for so long and how to bring that into an inventive, incredible new adventure. It became obvious that he is the perfect choice to be not only one of the narrative engineers of this new vision but its director as well.”
Plot details are being kept under wraps, but it’s understood that the new Mummy is set in the present and is not a horror play but rather an action-adventure tentpole with horror elements. It also will feature new characters and not rehash previous incarnations.
Jon Spaihts worked on the script, as did Kurtzman and Orci. Sean Daniel also is a producer on the project. Bobby Cohen is executive producer.
This is certainly exciting news, but what does it mean for Kurtzman’s directing job of Venom for Sony and their The Amazing Spider-Man franchise? Venom was expected in the next four years, after Sinister Six but somewhere between The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 (which may not even be happening now).
Kurtzman recently said of Venom “It’s still in conversation. Everybody is still figuring it out… It’s all up for grabs, right now. We’re just trying to figure it out.”
If Kurtzman does move to make The Mummy, and runs Universal’s classic Monsters franchise, he won’t really have time for Venom as a directing job. It also appears that the not a good as expected box office results for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has Sony re-thinking their Spider-Man plans, so they could end up losing Kurtzman altogether.
More on The Mummy as it happens.