Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Did Tom Cruise louse up The Mummy?

Tom Cruise acting.


So Variety is reporting that people are blaming Tom Cruise for the apparent failure of The Mummy.
As Hollywood is playing the blame game on what went wrong on The Mummy, which had a measly domestic opening of just $32 million, many fingers are pointing to Cruise. In the same way that he commanded the stage at the film’s premiere, leaving his cast standing awkwardly by his side, several sources close to the production say that Cruise exerted nearly complete creative oversight on The Mummy, essentially wearing all the hats and dictating even the smallest decisions on the set...

Universal, according to sources familiar with the matter, contractually guaranteed Cruise control of most aspects of the project, from script approval to post-production decisions. He also had a great deal of input on the film’s marketing and release strategy, these sources said, advocating for a June debut in a prime summer period.

With terrible reviews, The Mummy, which insiders say cost as much as $190 million to make and more than $100 million more to market and release worldwide, may struggle to make its money back. The film is performing much stronger overseas, where it was Cruise’s biggest international rollout with a $142 million opening weekend. It’s not clear if the movie will break even, and it’s cast a shadow on the studio’s plans for a Dark Universe franchise that’s supposed to feature A-list stars like Johnny Depp (as The Invisible Man) and Angelina Jolie (in negotiations for The Bride of Frankenstein).
Kurtzman was already being considered to direct, but it was Cruise who selected him. Kurtzaman worked as screenwriter on Mission: Impossible III.
In the wake of The Mummy’s failure, the decision to tap such an untested director on a sprawling action-adventure seems to have been foolhardy. Kurtzman wouldn’t necessarily rank high on a studio’s wish list for a project this big, given that he’s a producer and writer who only helmed one small feature that debuted to mixed reviews (2012’s Chris Pine drama People Like Us). As Kurtzman struggled to adjust to scope of the project, it felt more like Cruise was the real director, often dictating the major action sequences and micro-managing the production, according to sources.

There were other ways that The Mummy was transformed from a scary summer popcorn movie into a standard-issue Tom Cruise vehicle. The actor personally commissioned two other writers along with McQuarrie to crank out a new script. Two of the film’s three credited screenwriters, McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman, an actor-writer who played small roles in The Mummy and Jack Reacher, were close allies of Cruise’s. The script envisioned Nick Morton as an earnest Tom Cruise archetype, who is laughably described as a “young man” at one point. [emphasis added].
 
 Read the whole thing here.

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