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Not content to wait patiently for Jon Spaihts to deliver his script for its planned Mummy reboot, Universal Pictures has hired a second writer to pen a competing screenplay for director Len Wiseman’s film.
According to Vulture, The Hunger Games screenwriter Billy Ray it toiling away on that second script — they’re both set in modern times — which executives believe will effectively double their chances of having a script that can go in front of the cameras by late summer or early fall. Universal is hoping for a summer 2014 release date.
However, if neither script pans out, a studio insider tells the website, “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.” That approach is rarely used and riddled with pitfalls, “because credit arbitration is usually a nightmare.”
Produced by Star Trek‘s Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, The Mummy reboot has been described by Wiseman as “more of a modern-day version of what would happen if we came across a mummy in our world today. It is pretty fascinating.”
Universal’s 1999 film The Mummy grossed more than $415 million worldwide, only to be outperformed by the 2001 sequel The Mummy Returns, which brought in $433 million (the two also inspired the short-lived The Mummy: The Animated Series). Although the 2002 Dwayne Johnson spinoff The Scorpion King stumbled at the box office, earning just $160 million, the franchise bounced back with 2008′s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which delivered $401 million globally.