'Underworld' Director Len Wiseman is No Longer Working on 'The Mummy' Reboot

The Mummy reboot loses director Len Wiseman

Movies featuring creatures such as the Frankenstein monster, Dracula and The Mummy have been continually made (and re-made) in Hollywood since the 1930s. Hence, in our current reboot and remake-happy age, it doesn't come as a huge shock to have to report that several of these monsters are getting facelifts for the new century. Case in point, new Dracula and Frankenstein movies have already been formally scheduled for release in 2014; in related news, a reboot of the Mummy franchise has been actively developing over the past year and a half.

The Mummy reboot is being produced by longtime collaborators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, whose collective resume includes multiple installments in the Star Trek and Transformers movie properties (in addition to TV series like Fringe). Said duo have maintained from the project's genesis (in its current form) that the film will move away from the serial adventure throwback-style of the last three Mummy installments (headlined by Brendan Fraser) - in order to "go back to the franchise’s roots in dark, scary source material.”

Last year, Len Wiseman was brought onboard to direct the Mummy reboot, which had been targeted for a Summer 2014 release date. However, The Wrap is reporting that Wiseman has been forced to drop out as the film's helmer, due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict. Kurtzman and Orci - who recently worked alongside Wiseman on the pilot episode for the upcoming Sleepy Hollow television series - have begun searching for a replacement director. The same is true for producer Sean Daniel, who also backed the Fraser-starring Mummy flicks and the Scorpion King spinoff featuring Dwayne Johnson.

Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman filming Underworld: Evolution
Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman filming 'Underworld: Evolution'

Screenwriter Jon Spaihts - who penned the original Alien: Engineers script draft that eventually became Prometheus - is reported to have written a Mummy screenplay that takes place in the present-day, with inspiration taken from the mix of horror elements and (relatively) grounded sci-fi featured in several of the stories written by the late Michael Crichton (see: Jurassic Park, Sphere, The Andromeda Strain).

Some of Wiseman's past work has contained a similar mix of genre elements - in particular, the first two Underworld movie installments (both starring his wife, Kate Beckinsale). However, his approach on those films had prompted doubts about his ability to make a genuinely creepy and shocking Mummy reboot (or "epic" as Wiseman called it); as opposed to, a movie that lies closer to a serious modern horror-action flick (see: Underworld, Resident Evil), without the self-awareness and charm of the Fraser movies as compensation. Truth be told, it's hard to argue with that assessment (going by the quality of Wiseman's previous film output), so maybe his departure from the project is for the best.

We expect to have an update on Wiseman being replace as the director on The Mummy reboot in the foreseeable future; in the meantime, feel free to let us know which filmmaker you would like to see give the titular creature a makeover.


The Mummy currently does not have an official release date; for the time being, it seems unlikely to reach theaters any sooner than by late 2014 or the first half of 2015.

Source: The Wrap

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