Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci aren't on the rise... they've been at the top for years now. The executive producers of Fox's "Fringe" were also the screenwriting duo behind such blockbusters as Star Trek, Transformers and Mission: Impossible III, and they recently secured a gig writing the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. Now, they're setting their sights on Universal's classic stable of monsters. Their production company, K/O Paper Products, has signed a two-year first look deal with Universal, and their first two projects will be The Mummy and a "reimagining" of Van Helsing, the only two franchises Universal seems to be aware that they own.
We'd already heard word of the Mummy reboot from Prometheus and The Darkest Hour screenwriter Jon Spaihts, who for now still seems to be attached to the project. But Van Helsing is new... and extremely confusing. Stephen Sommers' "original" film was released in 2004 and starred Hugh Jackman in the title role. It bombed in the United States but made its money back overseas. It's frequently considered a punchline amongst horror and action enthusiasts alike, although it was hardly the worst film ever made. And yet somehow it's such a priority to Universal that Tom Cruise has been attached to star.
Hollywood Reporter announced the bewildering decision to "reimagine" the less-than-a-decade-old failed franchise that combined most of the Universal monsters as antagonists to a single hero, which was kind of a fun idea but seemed to limit its own franchise possibilities. With Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman and even the Hunchback of Notre Dame out of the way in a single film, what was left? We're sure the studio heads were frothing at the mouth over the possibility of Van Helsing vs. The Mummy, but after that, they would have pretty much been stuck with Van Helsing vs. The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Hard to build an entire film around an unstoppable badass fighting a fish-dude, isn't it?
And while Tom Cruise is on the rise again thanks to Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, and he's looking very healthy indeed, he's also 49-years-old, which is a little late to start a new action franchise which would probably want its lead to return for at least two sequels, assuming this new Van Helsing actually succeeds where the last one fails. Ignoring his controversial personal life, Cruise is a charismatic leading man, but come on... Van Helsing?
CraveOnline will return with more Van Helsing news after we help Dracula impregnate his wives again.