Say what you will about Universal Pictures, but when it comes to desperately churning out a franchise reboot to make up for the failure of Battleship, they are pretty dutiful about hitting their arbitrary deadlines.
And so, with a planned, groundless Summer 2014 release fast approaching for their would-be The Mummy reboot, the studio has reportedly now hired on Hunger Games screenwriter Billy Ray to begin work on a draft completely independent of the one Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts began last year. The idea, it seems, is that this will give Universal a backup plan to start production in the case that Spaihts' script is completely unusable--say, if he accidentally writes Brendan Fraser back into it. Though it's also just as likely, sources say, the two scripts will somehow be Frankensteined together, for lack of a more apt horror monster verb:
"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," explains [Vulture's] insider, adding that this competitive screenwriting process is rarely used "because credit arbitration is usually a nightmare."
As previously reported, Len Wiseman--who just forgettably rebooted Total Recall--is directing the reboot. So if either screenwriter includes a scene where the Beckinsale-like female lead cartwheels over the mummy to gun down a set of exploding canopic jars, that will probably end up being the "structure-and-body" guy. (The "character-and-dialogue" guy is obviously whoever concludes with "That's a wrap.")