Len Wiseman Recalls the 'Mummy' Franchise

[caption id="attachment_148831" align="alignleft" width="300"] Universal[/caption]

Years ago, "Dawn of the Dead" director George Romero said in an interview that when he originally pitched Universal on a contemporary remake of "The Mummy" (prior to the 1999 Stephen Sommers version), the studio asked why it couldn't be a period piece like the original, not realizing that when the Boris Karloff version came out 1932 WAS contemporary.

Now it seems execs at Universal are a little older and wiser, since Deadline reports they're indeed going modern-day for a reboot of their "Mummy" franchise, with none other than "Total Recall" remaker Len Wiseman at the helm to remake the remake.

"One of the things that interested me with this mummy is, he’s still in essence a man," said Wiseman. "They haven’t turned his brain into a monster brain. He still has a personality and is very cunning and calculating. He’s a true character in any form, and in creature form, even if he is that staggering creature, it becomes more important that he’s a thinking, calculating person."

Producer Alex Kurtzman insisted that the new script, currently being drafted by "Prometheus" scribe Jon Spaihts, draws its inspiration from modern science-driven thrillers in the Michael Chrichton mode as much as it does the high-flying action of the previous trilogy, which ended with "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" in 2008.

Wiseman's "Total Recall" had critics flinging poo at it before it stank up the box office, but it also proved that the "Underworld" director is still a slick visual engineer. He's no Romero, granted, but at the very least the movie will be well-lit and color-timed, and likely feature his wife Kate Beckinsale as some kind of Egyptian priestess or something.

In the meantime, check out the original on Netflix instant, with Karloff's lurching mummified priest still potent as ever.