The set of The Mummy may have been a horror show for all the wrongs reasons.
In the wake the Tom Cruise vehicle’s failure at the box office, there was bound to be hand-wringing and hindsight analysis, but a scathing new report in Variety pins much of the blame on the A-lister himself.
Sources told the industry trade that Cruise wielded nearly dictatorial control over the creative decisions on the set, starting with script approval and extending all the way into the editing bay during post-production.
Even the decision of who would be put in the director’s chair, Alex Kurtzman—who didn’t have experience helming a film close to the $190 million scale of The Mummy—stemmed from Cruise’s blessing. (Kurtzman had written the script for Mission: Impossible III.) The Hollywood heavyweight also brought aboard two other screenwriters, who pumped up the role of his character.
Universal had been desperate to lock in a star of Cruise’s caliber because The Mummy is the first installment of the studio’s planned Dark Universe shared cinematic universe built off its classic movie monsters.
“Even though Universal executives weren’t thrilled about the story — which feels disjointed and includes Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll — they went along with Cruise’s vision,” according to Variety.
“On the lot, there were differences of opinions about whether Cruise’s directions were improving a picture that had been troubled from its inception or whether they were turning a horror film into a Cruise infomercial.”
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