If I had a nickel every time someone in Hollywood didn’t do something because of “creative differences”… The latest casualty of the oldest excuse in Tinseltown is The Mummy reboot, the movie that’s supposed to launch a shared-universe kind of franchise featuring the classic Universal Studios monsters. This isn’t the first roadblock hit by the franchise-in-waiting, but it is the latest, and it’s likely to make the launch of the Monster-verse (trademark pending) delayed even further.
To recap, Universal hired nerdom’s most beloved screenwriting duo Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to oversee a new film series that would feature solo films about Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy all leading to a Van Helsing movie that would throw all the monsters together and send them against the titular hero. Originally, Underworld director Len Wiseman was signed on to make the new Mummy, but the second most frequent excuse in Hollywood, scheduling conflicts, forced him to hand the reins over to Mama director Andy Muschetti. But now Muschetti has departed, and The Mummy is leaderless once again. But what’s the creative difference that sent Muschetti walking?
According to The Wrap, Universal is looking at reshaping The Mummy to be less of a horror movie, like the original 1932 Boris Karloff movie, and more of an action/adventure flick like the recent Stephen Sommers series starring Brendan Fraser. Obviously if you hire a man like Muschetti you’re leaning to the horror side of the equation, so it should really comes as no surprise that when you start re-arranging to recipe to make something lighter, you’re going to lose the horror director.
So now what? I will say that the idea of a shared Monster-verse makes more sense than, say, creating a multi-film franchise based on Spider-Man characters, but Sommers’ proved with his Van Helsing, and to a certain extent with his Mummy movies, that getting too far away from these characters’ horror origins leads to overly silly movies that rely too heavily on CG over-saturation. Has anyone read Monster Island? Mummies can be pretty scary, you know.
It will be interesting to see what Orci and Kurtzman can do with the Universal monsters, and no I’m not being sarcastic. A lot of fans look at them like pariahs, but if you have doubts about what they can do with an established horror concept, take a look at the Fox series, Sleepy Hollow. A lot of people wrote that off too before it aired, but then it turned into one of Fall 2013’s most engaging new series. If Orci and Kurtzman could bring some of that vim to The Mummy and other movies, they could be very interesting indeed. As always, we’ll try to reserved judgment till opening day.
We’ll have more news about The Mummy and Co. as it develops.
Source: Screen Rant