Directed by Len Wiseman and produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Universal's upcoming The Mummy reboot already has a lot going against it. I know you're not supposed to judge books by their covers, but when the cover of your book says "Dat Ass Monthy" in big, bold letters, you can make at least some assumptions about what you'll find inside.
Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts is currently working on a script for the film, which will reportedly take place in modern times since modern day mummies are just zombies, and people love zombies, right?. But now Vulture reports that Universal has hired The Hunger Games screenwriter Billy Ray to also write a script. A completely different script. These two scripts are going to fight for Universal's affections.
According to Vulture's insider:
“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.”
Does anyone else imagine a busy toothpick in this guy's mouth as he says this stuff?
Apparently, this kind of script farming makes allotment of proper credit very difficult, but I can see this as common practice in the future regardless. A studio has a concept, hires a stable of separate writers to give it their best shot, then cherry-picks all the "good" stuff, putting it in a blender, and turning it into an indecipherable script soup.
I find this news interesting mostly because it brings attention to the script as a supreme early measurement of a film's hypothetical success when every other indication from studios avers that it's the step which matters least. Universal thinks that by producing two separate scripts, they stand a better chance of getting a good one. But even if Spaihts or Ray turn in the greatest modern Mummy screenplay possible, it will inevitably go through a watering down process that kills its quality. So why bother?