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U sets ‘Mummy’ reboot with Spaihts

'Prometheus' scribe plans to pen redo on an 'epic scale'

Universal Pictures has tapped “Prometheus” scribe Jon Spaihts to pen a feature reboot of “The Mummy” franchise, which Sean Daniel will return to produce.

Stephen Sommers’ 1999 take on “The Mummy,” which starred Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, grossed $415 million worldwide but was outperformed by its 2001 sequel “The Mummy Returns,” which took in $433 million globally. Chuck Russell’s 2002 spinoff “The Scorpion King” grossed only $165 million worldwide despite starring then-budding action star Dwayne Johnson. Fraser returned for Rob Cohen’s “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” and that 2008 pic took in $401 million worldwide, indicating there was still plenty of interest left in the franchise. Daniel produced all four films in the billion-dollar-grossing series.

“I see it as the sort of opportunity I had with ‘Prometheus’: to go back to a franchise’s roots in dark, scary source material and simultaneously open it up to an epic scale we haven’t seen before,” Spaihts said.

Jeffrey Kirschenbaum is overseeing the project for Universal.

Spaihts, who appeared on Variety ‘s list of 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2012, is on a roll, as he’s currently writing “World War Robot” and an untitled space adventure pic for producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Scribe first earned attention for his sci-fi script “Passengers,” which Keanu Reeves is producing through his Company Films banner. Spaihts recently wrote alien invasion pic “The Darkest Hour” for Summit.

Fox will release Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus,” which Spaihts co-wrote with Damon Lindelof, on June 8.

Spaihts is repped by Paradigm, Circle of Confusion and attorney Rick Genow.

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