The news earlier this year that Universal hired “The Hunger Games” and “Captain Phillips” writer Billy Ray to pen a new screenplay for “The Mummy” reboot, after “Prometheus” writer Jon Spaihts turned in his own separate draft, signalled perhaps that the studio still wasn’t sure which direction to take. And now, the plans for the reboot are going to get more complicated for Universal as director Len Wiseman walks away from the project.
The Wrap is reporting that the “Total Recall” helmer has dropped out of the director’s chair citing the ever popular excuse of “scheduling issues.” We can’t really blame the guy though, despite his bland filmography, because the studio always had their eye on a 2014 release date.
With the franchise having already raked in north of a billion dollars to date and with their well-documented troubles the past few years (“Battleship” and “R.I.P.D.” to name but a very few of their recent failures), it’s no wonder that Universal is dying to get a known and proven commodity out there for audiences to eat up.
But maybe the studio should just ease up on the throttle a bit and remember what happened the last time they rushed a reboot of one of their classic movie monsters: they got the mess that was “The Wolfman.” No word on how quickly they plan to fill the vacant director’s chair but if they can’t make their 2014 release date, they’ll have to push it back to 2016 because there’s no way in hell they’ll want to get slaughtered in the packed blockbuster-laden 2015.