Universal Pictures has hired The Hunger Games screenwriter Billy Ray to write the script for The Mummy reboot currently being developed at the studio. The movie is being produced by Joe Roth and Star Trek's Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. It's being directed Underworld's Len Wiseman.
What's interesting about this is that Universal previously hired Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts to write a script for this Mummy film, and Ray was hired to write a competitive script that will most likely end up being combined into one.
According to Vulture by "hiring two screenwriters to work on competing Mummy projects at the same time, the studio believes it is effectively doubling its chances that it will at least have one Mummy script that’s camera-ready by the late summer or early fall." A studio insider explains,
Studios don’t shoot movies anymore. They shoot release dates. 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, because credit arbitration is usually a nightmare.
As a fan of the original Mummy, I'm hoping this time around they make something really exciting and worth watching. We know the the film will be a modern day take on the story, and that it will include a darker scarier twist on the original material. Here's what Kurtzman had to say about the film in a previous interview,
One of the things that interested me with this mummy is, he’s still in essence a man. They haven’t turned his brain into a monster brain. He still has a personality and is very cunning and calculating. He’s a true character in any form, and in creature form, even if he is that staggering creature, it becomes more important that he’s a thinking, calculating person.
We’re reaching into the deep roots of The Mummy, which at its beating heart is a horror movie and then an action movie, and putting it into a context that is real and emotional. It’s still a four-quadrant film but as a lot of recent movies have proven, audiences are hungry for more than they used to be. You can still have a family movie, an action movie that’s more grounded than these used to be. Without saying too much, we’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from Michael Crichton’s books, and how he ground fantastical tales in modern-day science.