Things just keep going up and down for Universal. With their highest grossing film to date continuing to make a mint at the box office and their partnership with Legendary set to get underway, you would think that the studio was sitting pretty. Apparently not so much, at least on the reboot front. Len Wiseman has walked away from Universal’s reboot of The Mummy, that popular franchise that began with Boris Karloff in 1932 and ended with The Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor back in 2008.
The Total Recall director’s departure is just another in a long string of ‘uh-ohs’ for The Mummy reboot. There are apparently two scripts running around right now, one from Prometheus scribe John Spaihts, the other recently commissioned from The Hunger Games writer Billy Ray. Now Wiseman has left the production, citing scheduling issues. Things are not looking good for our mummified monster.
Universal is trying to remain on the franchise bandwagon, so it’s no surprise that they continue to push for the reboot of one of their most popular series. I fear that the writing might be on the wall for this one, though. The sequels to the original Mummy franchise – here I’m thinking of the series starring Brendan Fraser – have had diminishing returns on top of seriously diminishing quality. To attempt yet another revamp of an old-school monster has not worked so well for Universal: remember The Wolfman? With all of these directorial and apparent script issues, I wonder if they aren’t trying to rush this through, winding up with another critical dud on their hands.
We’ll have to wait and see how quickly Universal gets someone back into the director’s chair. If they can make their scheduled 2014 release date, fine, but let’s hope they don’t rush this one through.
Are you clamoring for a new version of The Mummy? Let us know what you think about Universal’s woes in the comments below.