Reinventing The Mummy

Universal has a great heritage of movie monsters. In fact, the studio’s foundation was built on the classic monsters of yesteryear like the Bela Lugosi Dracula, and the Boris Karloff Frankenstein.

In addition to the big, green hulking monster he’ll always be remembered for, Karloff also had a big hit in 1932 playing The Mummy.

The Mummy was of course reinvented modern day with Brendan Fraser and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and to the surprise of no one, a reboot of the modern Mummy was recently announced at Universal.

The original home of the classic monsters has been trying to reinvent a number of their monsters, and the Mummy’s probably a pretty logical choice because it had relatively recent success, where Universal’s reinvention of The Wolf-Man was a notoriously troubled production that didn’t come together.

There have also been several attempts to revive Frankenstein, including one from Guillermo Del Toro, as well as one from Chronicle screenwriter Max Landis, but none of them have gotten the green light yet.

Part of what’s appealing to modern audiences about The Mummy is you can redo it as a classic Indiana Jones style adventure, but now there’s a report that the next reinvention of the gauzed walking ghoul may take place modern day. Len Wiseman is onboard to direct, and even though he had a mis-step recently with the Total Recall reboot, he’s got a mostly good track record with Live Free or Die Hard, and the Underworld series. 

As Wiseman told Movieweb and Cinema Blend, he wants his Mummy to be “a modern-day take” that will be a whole new thing from the past Mummy movies. “(It) is a completely different film…It is not a remake of any kind…It’s horror. It’s epic.”

While that sounds a little confusing and ambiguous, the director also added he was skeptical about taking on another reboot after Total Recall.

But his Mummy is “to go with a much different tone. It was a Mummy like I’d never heard before. Its nothing like what you would expect, at all, oddly. I was picturing Egypt, and the sand swept setting. The mummy wrappings. When I heard what they were wanting to actually do with it, it was shocking…It’s more of a modern day version of what would happen if we came across a mummy in our world today.” 

As we previously reported onTG, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the screenwriters of the new Star Trek films, are producing the new Mummy, and they told Deadline they were inspired by the work of Michael Crichton who “ground fantastical tales in modern day science.”

There currently isn’t a script, but if all goes according to plan, the new model Mummy could be ready for release in the summer of 2014.