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Universal looks to keep spinning in circles: after shooting down a number of potential new series, it has been announced that The Mummy will be getting the reboot treatment.
Variety reports that Universal has already hired writer Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) to pen the script. The franchise (mostly) centers on Imhotep, an ancient Egyptian priest who was buried alive for attempting to resurrect the woman he loved. Cursed with immortality and trapped in a tomb, he is eventually awakened by unsuspecting archeologists and treasure hunters—going on a rampage shortly afterwards.
The original film in the series debuted in 1932, when Universal was considered the reigning power of horror films, but the series did not gain mainstream prominence until 1999, when director Stephen Sommers and producer Sean Daniel brought the character back to screens as less a horror film and more an adventure flick. Starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, the first reboot would spawn two sequels and a spin-off that added to a combined total of over $1 billion in worldwide sales.
Regardless of ticket sales, the reception of the films grew steadily worse over time, with The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor earning scathing reviews from critics and audiences alike. Spaihts hopes to refocus the series on horror, stating “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.”
With Spaihts’ emphasis on horror and Daniel’s (who producing the new reboot) love of scale, perhaps some good can come from this second reboot. However, one has to ask: who should direct this?