Published Jun 15, 2017Critically reviled and commercially disappointing, there's no denying that The Mummy was a monstrous failure last weekend. Of course, whenever a movie fails this badly studios tend to head out in search of a different kind of monster, and thus the witch hunt has begun.
According to a new report from Variety, the failure of The Mummy is being pinned on lead man Tom Cruise, who apparently wrangled control of every aspect of the production.
Sources close to Universal said that Cruise was granted control of most aspects of the project in his contract. This included everything from script approval to post-production and marketing decisions. Apparently he was the one who advocated for a June debut for the film.
Apparently Cruise hired two writers to beef up his role in the film, making it less about the titular mummy and more of a Cruise action pic.
Frank Walsh, the film's supervising art director, admitted to Cruise's meddling at a London screening of The Mummy this week, though he did so in a flattering manner:
This is very much a film of two halves: before Tom and after Tom. I have heard the stories about how he drives everything and pushes and pushes, but it was amazing to work with him. The guy is a great filmmaker and knows his craft. He will walk onto a set and tell the director what to do, say 'that's not the right lens,' ask about the sets, and as long as you don't fluff what you're saying to him… he's easy to work for.
Some suggest that another reason the film kicked into Cruise control was that director Alex Kurtzman was in over his head. After all, he's built his career as a producer, having only directed the Chris Pine drama People Like Us before this.
However you break it down, there's no denying that The Mummy was yet another stumble from a massive studio desperate to kick off a new franchise.