The screenwriters from Team Abrams have been doing very well for themselves these days.
By Team Abrams, I mean the writers who came up working with JJ Abrams on Alias and Lost, and have gone to to really big stuff in Hollywood. Damon Lindelof, co-creator of Lost, has Prometheus coming up in June, and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have written the Transformers films, as well as the Abrams Star Trek flicks, Cowboys and Aliens, and more.
Kurtzman and Orci have been setting up a number of new projects lately, including an adaptation of Anne Rice’s The Body Thief, which they’ll be producing, along with a reboot of the current Mummy series and Van Helsing.
Yes, both franchises that were launched by director Steven Somers are coming back with the help of Kurtzman and Orci, and Tom Cruise is coming along to play Van Helsing himself.
This is part of Kurtzman and Orci’s production deal at Universal, and as Collider tells us, Tom Cruise will be playing the famous monster hunter, and will co-produce as well. As you may recall, Cruise was going to star in Guilermo Del Toro’s dream project, At the Mountains of Madness at Universal, because the budget would have been huge for a horror film, and for that price, the studio wanted a PG-13 rating, which Del Toro couldn’t guaruntee.
In the horror realm, you would think The Mummy and Van Helsing would be a safer bet, but as much as those films made a lot of money, they were pretty crapola, and had way too much wall to wall CGI. What we’re trying to say is this leaves the work of Cruise, Kurtzman, Orci cut out for them, because if they’re going to bring these franchises back, they should be much better than the originals.
Being a fan of the classic Universal monster flicks, I loved when they did the “monster rally” films in the ’40s when they brought all of them together in House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, my personal favorite monster mash, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Doing an old fashioned, Universal style film today could be a lot of fun today in the right hands, so here’s hoping this Hollywood power tag-team can pull it together.
BTW, Kurtzman and Orci also have another big flick on their dance cards, the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, which already got the greenlight from Sony before the first installment of the rebooted franchise comes out on July 3.
The second Spider-Man flick is slated for a May 2, 2014 release, and production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013. James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) wrote the first draft of the script, and Kurtzman and Orci are being called in to re-write the screenplay before production is ready to roll.