Point Break and The Mummy lose key members, follow revisit path
There's a certain way that the development of well-known remakes goes, and they always stall and stutter. When they're particularly big and well known films, nay even deemed classics or a cult film, they always seem to start off big and stutter and step their way down to being a shadow of what they once promised, and inevitably that means they aren't nearly as good.
The initial ideas of a new version of Point Break and of a new instalment in The Mummy franchise, effectively replacing everyone and delivering a new franchise, both sounded like they might be big versions, but now we're starting to hear news that they're slipping back.
First up is Point Break. When we heard that Gerard Butler had joined the film to play the role once played by Patrick Swayze, things looked good. We even heard that Ray Winstone was joining the production and with Kurt Wimmer having delivered the script that Ericson Core was, and currently still is, set to direct, and the story was being updated to give us a gang of extreme action nuts rather than just surfers, it all sounded good. While you might be uncertain about a remake of Point Break, I didn't think it sounded such a bad idea.
Of course it wasn't going to stay that way and news from The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Gerard Butler has dropped out of the film, leaving perhaps the most important role empty. According to the article there are two reasons for this, one is because there was a scheduling conflict between Point Break and London Has Fallen, the Olympus Has Fallen (Filmstalker review) sequel, but the other was due to creative differences. What those creative differences were we don't know as yet, but that's a big star to have lost from the film. Is this the start of the dropping down?
Then there's news of the next instalment of The Mummy, or rather the out and out reboot of the franchise. This one looked promising as it came from a script from Jon Spaihts whose draft has a modern day adaptation with new characters. Previously Len Wiseman was to direct the film and he had said that producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci were looking to deliver a darker version than the family friendly one we have seen a number of times.
Well Wiseman has gone and the next director on board was Andrés Muschietti, the director of Mama (Filmstalker review), and that was a much more exciting prospect. While Wiseman is a good director the prospect of The Mummy reboot from the director of Mama sounded superb.
Rather, it did sound superb. According to The Wrap Muschetti has now left because of those pesky creative differences once again, and it's because he wanted a darker version of the story, Universal don't, they want to recreate the family franchise it once was.
I think that's a shame because I really don't think that audiences want a remade Mummy franchise in exactly the same style as they previously had, taking a chance and making some big creative changes is how these reboots and restarts really do work, doing the same thing with big stars doesn't.
If you watch how these revisits go they always start big and hit bumps on the way - a director leaving, an actor leaving, delays, budget drops - and before you know it the production is a mere shadow of what it was and the studio have exactly what they want, a cheap, cash in remake of the previous one that they can use to capture a quick buck from the audience. Not good.
Both Point Break and The Mummy were sounding as though they could deliver something interesting, and while Point Break has taken that first step down, The Mummy looks like to have taken the final step towards mediocrity.