‘The Mummy’ Reboot Getting a Competing Script from ‘Hunger Games’ Writer Billy Ray

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 14th, 2013 at 4:50 pm,

mummy reboot script The Mummy Reboot Getting a Competing Script from Hunger Games Writer Billy Ray

It turns out our readers aren’t the only ones concerned about The Mummy reboot that Len Wiseman is directing, following his Total Recall remake (which proved a disappointment, both in terms of box office and quality). Universal is determined to keep the 80-year old horror-adventure film franchise going as a cash cow, which is why the studio is taking additional steps to guarantee a decent script.

Jon Spaihts – who penned the Aliens: Engineers script that eventually morphed into Prometheus – was hired to write the new Mummy installment in April of 2012. However, we’re now hearing that Billy Ray (who did credited work on The Hunger Games) is developing a competing script – providing Universal with an alternative choice, in case the studio heads don’t like Spaihts’ version.

Vulture is reporting that Universal wants The Mummy reboot to begin shooting by either late this Summer or early Fall, so it can arrive by Summer 2014. The idea is that by having two different scripts in the works, the studio is “effectively doubling its chances” of a successful outcome; not to mention, taking extra precaution, seeing how Spaihts’ screenwriting resume doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence (case in point: he also penned the critical and financial sci-fi dud The Darkest Hour).

Similarly, by revitalizing the profitable Mummy property, Universal is keeping with its announced intent to focus on live-action franchise building. Hence, long stalled or nearly-forgotten projects like a Mummy remake, Jurassic Park IV and a third Conan installment featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger (titled The Legend of Conan) are preparing to start production before the year is out.

invisible man mummy remake The Mummy Reboot Getting a Competing Script from Hunger Games Writer Billy Ray

Warner Bros. used a similar “competitive screenwriting” approach two years ago, when it hired Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Footloose (2011)) and Adam Cozad (Jack Ryan) to write competing Tarzan scripts; there, it helped, once Brewer’s proposed version failed to come together – and the studio instead attached Harry Potter director David Yates to Cozad’s script, without having to completely start from scratch. Universal should likewise benefit from hedging its bets this way, as a Vulture source puts it:

“My suspicion is that one of them will be a ‘structure-and-body’ man, and one’s going to be a ‘character-and-dialogue’ man — and that they’ll then just gang-bang them together into one script, crediting both writers,” explains our insider, adding that this competitive screenwriting process is rarely used “because credit arbitration is usually a nightmare.”

Indeed, Ray’s known for crafting intelligent drama-thrillers that are very dialogue-and-character oriented (see: Shattered Glass, BreachState of Play). Meanwhile, Spaights clearly have a talent for devising new spins on old ideas, but he’s not yet proven so great at the execution. In other words, the pair have complimentary strengths and weaknesses, so combining their scripts sounds like a wise decision – and shouldn’t be too difficult, seeing how both versions take place in a modern setting.

More on The Mummy reboot as the story develops.


Source: Vulture

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: The mummy
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Why oh why Delilah?!

    A Len Wiseman once said, only fools rush in, to remakes, reboots and well established franchises, keep this muppet away from a camera!!

    Total Recall was horrendous!

    • +1 though was nice to see biel in a movie. She needs better roles.

      • Yeah I agree, Kate Beckinsale was the only plus in that movie!

        Everything was lifted from the Arnie movie, I couldn’t stop laughing at the references! I’ve never seen a remake that has done it so brazenly, it made no sense at all!

        • Yeah love Kate. Lol they thought it was “smart” having the references no doubt, was terrible.

  2. And why is this needed?

    • Because it’s Hollywood. ‘Nuff said

  3. As much as I liked the first 2 Mummy remake movies with Fraser, I would REALLY like to see this remake as an actual, big-budget horror movie. Although I’m not a big horror fan, even I’m tired of the ‘found footage’ movies, paranormal-type movies, and the inevitable ‘shaky-cam’ method that allows sloppy filming and no real story.

    Let’s get back to our roots in horror.
    Based on how mummification was implemented in reality, and the obvious fright-factor of the walking dead, The Mummy should provide plenty of contemporary scares if done right.

    • Oooo this woul be a worthwhile reboot. So much potential for this if taken as a serious horror film. But sadly they’ll probably keep it in the “pg/pg13 friendly action-adventure” territory which is unfortunate.

  4. I like the idea of competing scripts.
    I wish all the universal monsters were getting reboots.
    I loved wolfman(2010) sadly which was denied a true sequel.

    • Eh… I fell asleep during wolfman and it wasn’t because I didn’t get any sleep sense the other day like the only other time I feel asleep at the movie theater. Wolfman 2010 Just put me to sleep.

  5. Man… if The Mummy is getting a reboot… what about Big Daddy? :)

  6. Please go easy on the CGI this time.

    • Yeah right…

  7. Total Recall the remake was one of the worst films I have ever seen.

    They made the film based on the idea that viewers were familiar enough with the story that they could leave a ton of stuff out.

    Who would seriously let this guy spend their money after that.

  8. Steve Carell is staring in remakes of Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer

  9. Yawn….

  10. Who cares? We all know deep down that whichever script they pick this movie will probably be awful.