So, you remember how Underworld‘s Len Wiseman is directing a Mummy remake? I don’t blame you if you don’t; since the news broke last September we’ve heard virtually nothing about it. But today there’s a curious tidbit from of Vulture: Though the movie already has one screenwriter, Universal has hired another screenwriter to pen a second, competing script. That writer? The Hunger Games‘ Billy Ray
So, are the two writers going to fight to the death to get their version made, or…?
Already on board is Jon Spaihts, who wrote the script that eventually became Prometheus (some details on the differences between his version and the final movie are here). Unlike the Brendan Fraser/Rachel Weisz version, both scripts will place the movie in the modern day. We’ve also heard that Universal’s going for something more “horror movie” than “action movie” with their remake, keeping more with the vibe of the original 1932 The Mummy than the Fraser version.
The reason Universal has for hiring dual writers is that they really want this thing to be ready by summer 2014, and if they have two scripts going then one of them’s bound to be ready in time, right? Seriously. The way the Vulture article makes it sound, the issue isn’t that they want to double their chances for a good script; it’s that they want to double their chances for a quick script. I don’t know how accurate their source is, but if that is true it’s pretty disheartening (if not unexpected).
But even if neither draft works out, the unusual approach might still bear fruit.
“My suspicion is that one of them will be a ‘structure-and-body’ man, and one’s going to be a ‘character-and-dialogue’ man — and that they’ll then just gang-bang them together into one script, crediting both writers,” explains our insider.”
So. Thoughts? Happy about Ray being hired? Worried about the whole rushing-the-script-through thing? Lay it on me.