What do you do when you run out of ideas? Recycle old ones of course. With a spate of reboots – Batman, Spider-Man, Robocop, Total Recall, it’s not really a huge surprise that Universal have turned their attentions to one of the popular franchises – The Mummy. Frankly the series was subject to the law of diminishing returns and the final instalment, Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor, released in 2008 was an absolute calamity.
Jon Spaihts is the man who’s been selected to write the new script. He’s a bit of an unknown quantity at the moment – he’s one of the co-writers of Prometheus but he also wrote decidedly ropey alien invasion flick The Darkest Hour. He’s clearly chuffed with the opportunity,
“I see it as the sort of opportunity I had with Prometheus: to go back to a franchise’s roots in dark, scary source material and simultaneously open it up to an epic scale we haven’t seen before,” he told Variety.
Stephen Sommers brought us Imhotep and his pesky scarab beetles back in 1999 with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz in the leads. The result was knockabout comedy adventure fun which did great guns at the box office. The Mummy Returns released in 2001 wasn’t quite as good but still had its moments. The wheels fell off the franchise completely when Rob Cohen took over directorial duties and Maria Bello replaced Weisz for Dragon Emperor in 2008- the nightmares still haunt me to this day. And The Rock had some fun in spin-off adventure The Scorpion King in 2002.
The door’s wide open to see what Spaihts will do with the script, although it does sound like he’s going to go for scares rather than laughs. Will Rick O’Connell return, or will there be a completely new set of characters?