Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will be producing Universal Pictures’ reboot of The Mummy franchise and a reboot of the failed 2004 Hugh Jackman franchise non-starter Van Helsing. What’s surprising about the latter is that it has Tom Cruise attached to star!
It’ll be interesting to see how Kurtzman and Orci handle these properties. Stephen Sommers was the last man to bring them to the screen – I know that The Mummy 3 was helmed by Rob Cohen, but Sommers’ fingerprints were leftover from the previous entries.
Van Helsing should have been great, but it was a CGI-filled disaster that was more cartoon than live action feature. Kurtzman and Orci aren’t know for horror, or for doing deep and thoughtful but I’d imagine that whatever they cook up will be better than the last Van Helsing movie. That much hyped film cost $160 million to produce, and while it opened to over $51 million it grossed just $120 million and eked out over $300 million globally. It was supposed to start a franchise, and launch a television series called Transylvania – neither materialized.
Cruise’s involvement in the latter implies more character and less CGI than the Jackman version. Although it must be pointed out that he’s only attached at the minute, and he has a busy plate with Top Gun 2, Mission: Impossible 5; a potrential One Shot/Reacher sequel on the way and All You Need Is Kill (written by Kurtzman and Orci) in the pipeline.
Check out Universal’s press release below:
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, May 1, 2011—Universal Pictures today announced the studio has signed a two-year first-look production deal with one of the leading writing/producing teams in the entertainment industry, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and their K/O Paper Products banner. The duo will kick off their new relationship with Universal by reimagining titles from the studio’s library including Van Helsing and The Mummy. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Chairman, Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman, Donna Langley.
Kurtzman and Orci have collaborated with some of the industry’s top creative minds including J.J. Abrams, with whom they wrote the third installment of Mission: Impossible, which grossed nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office. In 2007, they wrote Transformers and went on to write Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2009. Together, those films grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide. More recently, the pair wrote and executive produced 2009’s Star Trek, which grossed more than $385 million worldwide. Accompanying their impressive film resume, Kurtzman and Orci have found tremendous success in television, having created the series Fringe, writing/producing Alias and in 2010, producing the reboot of Hawaii Five-O. They also currently executive produce the highest rated show on Hasbro’s The Hub, Transformers Prime.
“Alex and Roberto are extraordinarily talented writers and producers who know the value of a great story in building successful tentpole films,” Fogelson and Langley said in a joint statement. “They have been a major part of some of Hollywood’s biggest movies and television shows in recent history, and we’re eager to have them build on that success at Universal.”
“We’re thrilled to call Universal Pictures our home,” said Kurtzman and Orci. “From the moment we sat down with Adam, Donna, Peter, Jeff and the entire Uni team, there was an instant flow of inspired ideas. They really understand the importance of building a strong creative team and giving our shared projects their full support. We’re proud to start making movies that will live as part of Universal’s enduring legacy.”
Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products will develop and produce a modern reimagining of Universal library titles including The Mummy, alongside producer Sean Daniel and writer Jon Spaihts. The pair will also develop and produce Universal’s reimagined Van Helsing, with Tom Cruise attached to star in and produce the film.
Kurtzman and Orci’s upcoming projects include writing Sony’s next installment of The Amazing Spider-Man; producing Now You See Me, for Lionsgate Summit, set for release in March 2013; and producing Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, also for Lionsgate Summit. Kurtzman and Orci wrote and produced People Like Us, which marks Kurtzman’s directorial debut and is scheduled to be released in June 2012, and wrote and produced the second installment of Star Trek, set for release in 2013. The pair most recently rewrote All You Need Is Kill for Warner Bros., with Tom Cruise attached to star, Doug Liman to direct and Erwin Stoff to produce.
Kurtzman, Orci and the rest of their K/O Paper Products team, including President Bobby Cohen, will be housed on the Universal lot. Former assistants Ben Kim and Kim Cavyan will come aboard as creative executives. Kurtzman and Orci are represented by CAA and attorneys Michael Gendler and Kevin Kelly of Gendler & Kelly, APC.