Billy Ray is Writing a Competing 'Mummy' Reboot Script for Universal
Here's something you don't see every day. Desperate for another hit film franchise, Universal Pictures decided last year that they were going to reboot The Mummy franchise, hiring Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts to pen the screenplay, snagging Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci as producers, and bringing on Live Free or Die Hard helmer Len Wiseman to direct. Development has been quiet since September, but now Vulture reports that the studio has made a move that will likely have many scratching their heads: they've hired The Hunger Games writer Billy Ray to write a completely separate screenplay for the same project.
Vulture's source says that Universal's reason for this unorthodox move is because the studio really wants to make sure that the film meets its targeted summer 2014 release date. But while the first assumption may be that they're using Ray's work as a backup in case Spaihts' script totally blows, they might be planning something a little more complicated than that. The source indicates that one writer may be better when it comes to writing the story structure, and one may be better at character and dialogue, with the studio possibly looking to "gang-bang them together into one script, crediting both writers."
We likely won't know exactly how this process shakes out until we see who receives credit in the opening reel, but for the sake of the movie, I'm hoping this isn't the method that the studio employs. It seems so haphazard to interchange characters and dialogue with plot points from a completely separate story, so hopefully one uniform script makes it through the gauntlet, the studio chooses that one, and the other writer gets paid for a bit of work that never makes it to the screen. Otherwise, this could get messy. Thoughts?