After director Len Wiseman dropped the project because of schedule that was too busy, Universal Pictures' reboot of The Mummy franchise seemed to be back on track when the production hired Mama filmmaker Andres Muschietti. Unfortunately for the studio, it now looks like things are once again going back to square one, as Muschietti has decided to drop off the film.
According to The Wrap, the reason for the split between the filmmaker and Universal was because of creative differences. Muschetti first entered the project when producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci were describing it as "a darker, scarier take" for all audiences. The Argentinian director ended up wanting to do something much more horror-focused than Universal was interested in, as the studio changed their minds and wanted something that was simply a "four-quadrant, more family-friendly action-adventure blockbuster."
Why Universal would hire a horror director to make this new version of The Mummy is a bit of a head-scratcher, but Muschetti's hiring probably had less to do with his skills as a filmmaker and more to do with his ability to keep costs down anyway. In early 2013 the studio put out the director's first feature, Mama, which wound up making $146 million worldwide on a tiny, tiny $15 million budget. It's possible that the company was hoping that Muschetti could work his low budget magic on one of their biggest potential franchises, but apparently that didn't work out.
So what will Muschetti do now? When he first signed on for The Mummy, the director was beginning to work on a new horror film called Bird Box that he will most likely return to. Based on a manuscript written by The High Strung frontman Josh Malerman, the movie will tell the story of a woman and her two children as they hike down a river in a seemingly post-apocalyptic world. Even if he does wind up returning to that project, it's hard to say when we might get to see the final result.
The most recent version of the new Mummy script was written by Jon Spaihts and will be completely separate from the Brendan Fraser-led series that began in 1999, starting with the fact that it is set in the modern day. Universal has announced that they plan to have the movie in theaters on April 22, 2016, so they actually have a good amount of time to find a new director. Do you have any candidates in mind? If it's not going to be Len Wiseman and it's not going to be Andres Muschietti, then who do you think should take control of the Mummy franchise? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.