Earlier this year, Universal announced that it was remaking The Mummy, the ancient Egyptian-themed horror franchise that frightened audiences in the 1930s and mildly entertained them in its most recent incarnation, courtesy of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra director Stephen Sommers, since 1999. The new screenplay has been written by Prometheus's Jon Spaihts, who promised to "go back to a franchise's roots in dark, scary source material and simultaneously open it up to an epic scale we haven't seen before." That may not be the case anymore, if the news that Len Wiseman will direct the new remake is any indication.
Len Wiseman, the director of the first two Underworld movies, Live Free or Die Hard and this year's Total Recall remake, has not presented himself thus far as a director of particular vision, sensitivity or insight. His films have made money but are generally considered modest genre efforts or, in the cases of Live Free or Die Hard and Total Recall, generally rather bad. He's also married to Kate Beckinsale, who stars in most of his movies. The news that he's at the helm of the Mummy franchise, despite the best intentions of everyone involved, does little to inspire fan confidence in the direction of the new remake.
Producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Transformers) are promising a modern day take on the material, scary but also a "four quadrant" film, meaning that the goal is to appeal to all audiences. (So it can't be too scary, that's for sure.) Kurtzman claims "We’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from Michael Crichton’s books, and how he ground fantastical tales in modern-day science.” Wiseman says his attraction to the iconic monster, who starred in his first hit movie for Universal back in 1932, stems from the fact that "This mummy is, he’s still in essence a man [...] They haven’t turned his brain into a monster brain. He still has a personality and is very cunning and calculating. He’s a true character in any form, and in creature form, even if he is that staggering creature, it becomes more important that he’s a thinking, calculating person."
Universal Studios is developing the remake for a potential Summer 2014 release date.
CraveOnline will be back with more The Mummy news after we figure out what a place like you is doing in a girl like this.