'Hunger Games' Writer Hired to Develop Alternate Script for 'The Mummy' Reboot

'Hunger Games' Writer Hired to Develop Alternate Script for 'The Mummy' Reboot

Feb 14, 2013

Screenwriter Jon Spaihts can't catch a break. Well, aside from the whole "sought-after, successful sci-fi screenwriter" thing; that's a pretty good break. However, he wrote The Darkest Hour and Prometheus, two movies with cool sci-fi concepts that were clearly overdeveloped and crippled by studios or other writers after Spaihts laid the groundwork. Most recently he was hired to write a reboot of The Mummy for Universal that would, "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."

Spaiht's streak continues, though, as the studio has just brought in a new writer-- only this time, it's not Spaiht's script that's being reworked. Universal hired Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Volcano) to write a separate, competing script for the film. Presumably in the not too distant future the studio will then decide on one script over the other, though it's entirely possibly they'll then just cherry pick what they like from either take, smush them together, and let the Writers Guild of America sort out who gets what credit. 

It's not an unheard of scenario, but it's still an unorthodox one, especially if Universal ends up using elements from both screenplays. However, don't automatically take this to mean that Spaihts turned in a bad script. Keep in mind that his original Prometheus script didn't have several of the problems that the final, Damon Lindelof-tweaked one did. Vulture, which broke the story, pointed out that Mummy director Len Wiseman, producer Joe Roth and the newly hired Ray all share the same agent. It could just be a matter of insider baseball; of a studio trying to make sure it makes its release date, and an agency making sure it doesn't have another bomb in the pipeline for one of its directors.

Follow along on Twitter: @PeterSHall and @Moviesdotcom.

Categories: In Development, Horror, Sci-Fi
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