Universal wants to be in the Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci business, and why wouldn’t they? The writing pair are one of the hottest hires around town, having lent their pens to two “Transformers” movies, “Star Trek” and its upcoming sequel, and they were just hired by Sony to rewrite “The Amazing Spider-man 2.” Unfortunately, the only project they did for Universal was the bomb “Cowboys & Aliens” but the studio is banking that their track record will score them another winner.
The studio has signed the pair and their K/O Paper Products banner to a first look deal that will see Universal handing them the keys to a couple of important franchises they are planning to reboot. One is “The Mummy” which already has “Prometheus” writer Jon Spaihts penning the script, and the other is “Van Helsing” which has Tom Cruise attached to star and co-produce. Damn. But actually, this isn’t quite new, though we have to admit we totally forgot about it and figured it left for dead.
“Van Helsing” is one the studio has been working on for a while, eager to put the Stephen Sommers/Hugh Jackman version behind them. Back in June 2010, they hired Guillermo Del Toro to produce, with the writer/director/producer adding it to his already incredibly long to-do list. Tom Cruise was attached to star and produce, but then a month later Del Toro left “Van Helsing” to go make “At The Mountains Of Madness” and we all know how that turned out. But it seems Cruise is still looking to hunt vampires (he’s played one already) and as usual with the actor, it’s one of a zillion things he’s attached and it will likely depend on script/director/if-he-feels-like-doing-it if this ever happens.
But really, this is good news for Universal who bring on board some huge talents, and for Kurtzman and Orci who have a home for the next couple of years. [Deadline]