Director Len Wiseman to Helm Universal's Reboot of 'The Mummy'
by Ben Pearson
September 24, 2012
Say what you will, but I still unironically enjoy Stephen Sommers' first entry into The Mummy franchise. But after the series crashed creatively with Tomb of the Dragon Emperor back in 2008, it wasn't too surprising to hear that Universal decided to tap Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts and mega-producers Kurtzman and Orci to reboot it again and give us some new big screen adventures. Now Deadline reports that generic filmmaker Len Wiseman (os Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard and the new Total Recall) is set to direct this new version, which pretty much crushes our hope that this reboot will be any fun. Read on!
The filmmakers are doing everything they can to assuage fan concerns, but I'm not buying into the hype on this one. Wiseman says this movie will be a "darker twist on the material, a scarier version," while Kurtzman echoed those sentiments to Deadline:
We’re reaching into the deep roots of The Mummy, which at its beating heart is a horror movie and then an action movie, and putting it into a context that is real and emotional. It’s still a four quadrant film but as a lot of recent movies have proven, audiences are hungry for more than they used to be. You can still have a family movie, an action movie that’s more grounded than these used to be. Without saying too much, we’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from Michael Crichton’s books, and how he ground fantastical sales in modern day science.
While Sommers chose to evoke Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark with the tone and 1930s style in his take on this material, Wiseman and his team are setting this one in modern times. That seems like a mistake from the start since the atmosphere and setting of The Mummy is so important to its success, but I guess only time will tell if the director of one of the most pointless remakes in recent history (yes, we're talking about Total Recall) can actually cook up something entertaining here.
Production should get underway relatively quickly to reach their planned summer 2014 release date, but if Matthew Vaughn can guide an effects-heavy tentpole like X-Men: First Class from preproduction into theaters in less than a year, perhaps these guys have plenty of time to get this up and running. Thoughts?