The Mummy was the wet turd of the North American box office last weekend (it’s done a lot better internationally, though) and most critics seems to think it’s as interesting and exciting as a dried skid mark clinging to a piece of toilet paper in the trash can. Variety did a story on what went wrong with the movie that was supposed to start Universal’s “Dark Universe” series off right. They say that a lot of the blame is on Tom Cruise’s big, sloppy, throbbing ego and Universal giving him way too much control. Universal apparently wanted a blockbuster horror movie and they got another Tom Cruise movie.
Variety’s sources say that Universal agreed to let Tommy have a say in almost everything from post-production decisions to how The Mummy was marketed. They couldn’t say no to him since it was in his contract. The sources say it was a “textbook case of a movie star running amok.” It all started when Tommy hand-picked Alex Kurtzman, a director who has never directed a big-budget movie, to direct. Alex helped write the script for Mission: Impossible III, so Tommy was already comfortable with him. Alex was technically listed as “director” on the call sheet, but it was Tommy who was telling everyone what’s what. “We don’t call him Bossy Bottom Tommy for nothing!” – those gossiping bitches in the Scientology Centre bathhouse.
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.
Tommy also didn’t think his part was big enough, so he brought in writers he trusts to give his character more screen time than the title character (played by Sofia Boutella). Tommy’s writers also added a nonsensical plot twist (SPOILER ALERT for those of you who want to see that dingle) where his character gets possessed. Tommy apparently wanted a dramatic arc. Sources say that Universal didn’t like the changes but went along with what Tommy wanted.
When shooting was done, the sources say that Tommy didn’t take off his Know-It-All-Trick hat. He went into the editing room and brought his longtime editor Andrew Mondshein with him. Some wondered if Tommy’s editing directions were making the already-shitty movie better or if he was turning The Mummy into The Tommy.
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.
Variety claims that The Mummy cost almost $300 million to make and market. They’re not sure if Universal is going to make their money back. Universal responded to Variety’s story and seemed to confirm that Tom has a say in everything, but that he does it for the good of the movie!
“Tom approaches every project with a level of commitment and dedication that is unmatched by most working in our business today. He has been a true partner and creative collaborator, and his goal with any project he works on is to provide audiences with a truly cinematic moviegoing experience.”
I’m not one to defend Tom Cruise, but Tom Cruise making a movie all about Tom Cruise is like me going to a party and spending the entire time getting drunk while talking to a cat in the corner. It’s going to happen every single time. If Universal didn’t want a movie where Tom Cruise makes it all about him and his running, they shouldn’t have hired him. And if they wanted a terrifying horror movie, they should’ve just done a movie about Scientology.