The Mummy Reboot Director Labels the Film as Biggest Failure of His Life

Posted 2022/04/23 4 0

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Universal’s Dark Universe was brought crashing down when The Mummy flopped in 2017, and director Alex Kurtzman hasn’t forgotten it.

Five years ago, Universal seemed set to launch their Dark Universe and revive some of the most iconic movie monsters of all time in an interconnected world that would have seen the likes of Dr. Jekyll crossing paths with Frankenstein, the Wolfman and, in a first movie, The Mummy. Led by Tom Cruise, The Mummy arrived in 2017 and one in swoop managed to derail the entire project as a commercial and critical failure. While Universal have still managed to bring their old monsters back to life in stand-alone movies with modern twists, the memory of the failed Dark Universe is still something that is remembered by The Mummy’s writer-director Alex Kurtzman

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While The Mummy had previously experienced a string of success, from the iconic 1932 Boris Karloff movie through to the 1999 reboot starring Brendan Fraser, but something with the Tom Cruise adventure was so far off the mark the film was never likely to be anything but a flop. While the movie put down some groundwork for many other movies thanks to a secret society led by Henry Jekyll, played by Russell Crowe, it was to be the only time any of that would be seen on the big screen. Speaking to The Playlist, Kurtzman admitted that The Mummy is his biggest failure. He said:

“I tend to subscribe to the point of view that you learn nothing from your successes, and you learn everything from your failures. And that was probably the biggest failure of my life, both personally and professionally. There are about a million things I regret about it, but it also gave me so many gifts that are inexpressibly beautiful. I didn’t become a director until I made that movie, and it wasn’t because it was well directed – it was because it wasn’t.

Look, if you look at history and you look at people who’ve made amazing things, every single one of them will tell you the same story which is that it came after a failure, so I look back on it now with gratitude. It took me a while to get there, but my life is better for it.”

Universal Has Many New Monster Movies In Development

While the Dark Universe has been abandoned by Universal, the library of classic movie monsters will still see light of day, just in new and very different ways to those originally planned. In 2020, The Invisible Man turned the H.G. Wells story into a tale of domestic horror, abandoning all the generic stereotypical elements that the story usually delivers and instead producing something new, something fresh and above all else something that turned out to be a hit. While this did not lead to any thought of re-attempting the Dark Universe project, it did instigate number of other solo outings for other gothic horror characters.

Universal are now working on a new iteration of The Wolfman starring Ryan Gosling, the horror comedy Renfield, which has recently wrapped filming and features Nicolas Cage as Dracula, a James Wan produced Van Helsing movie and a possible Bride of Frankenstein project that may or may not involve Angelina Jolie. In all, there are around a dozen new movies being considered in various stages of development all based on the monsters of the 1930s and 1940s, proving that no matter how much of a failure The Mummy was, you can’t keep a good monster down.


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