It’s only been a few short months since writing dream team Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (“Star Trek,” “Transformers 2,” “The Amazing Spider-Man”) announced the dissolution of their creative writing partnership, but the two have been busy ever since. Orci’s essentially going to take over the “Star Trek” series and direct “Star Trek 3” and Kurtzman is more involved in the “Spider-Man” series and will helm the villain “Venom” adaptation.
And given Kurtzman and Orci were already developing “The Mummy” reboot together for Universal, it’s probably no surprise that Kurtzman has stepped up to take the directing job–”Mama” director Andrés Muschietti was tasked for the job last fall, but bailed over reported “creative differences” earlier this year.
And it sounds like “Fast and Furious” scribe Chris Morgan is Kurtzman’s new bff partner. Variety makes no mention of Orci in their report, so perhaps these guys have split all projects very cleanly (to do so even on the producing level makes one suspicious of those “amicable split” announcements earlier this year). Morgan and Kurztman have also been tasked by Universal to get their Monster Movie universe up and running, so perhaps this is the studio these two are going to call home for the near future. And perhaps “The Mummy” will be the first film of these Monster cinematic universe pictures.
Plot details are under wraps, but it sounds unlike the original period films with Brendan Fraser, this new series will be set in the present. Kurtzman has directed all of one film so far, the small (and rather quickly forgotten) indie “People Like Us.” But Marvel‘s factory has proven that it can take writer/directors without blockbuster experience like Shane Black, and Anthony and Joe Russo and help them make terrific films if a strong team is built up around them. Orci’s doing the same thing as “Star Trek 3” would be his directorial debut. So perhaps the days of writer’s easing gently into big-budget filmmaking is becoming a thing of the past thanks to big pre-viz and special effects teams that can handle some of what used to be on-set spectacle. Until one of them fails spectacularly of course…