The Mummy Director Calls It the “Biggest Failure” of His Life
Back in 2017, The Mummy was supposed to be the start of the Dark Universe, a shared movie universe that was created as a complete reboot of the Universal Monsters. Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp were going to play Frankenstein’s Monster and the Invisible Man, respectively. But first, Tom Cruise starred in The Mummy reboot as Nick Morton, a man who ran afoul of the titular mummy, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). Unfortunately, the film’s lackluster box office killed the Dark Universe after only one film.
Reports at the time indicated that Cruise had near total creative control on the film. That may have been the big reason why the project felt like a tug of war between Cruise and director Alex Kurtzman. In a new interview with The Playlist, Kurtzman called it the “biggest failure” of his life. However, he also explained why that failure made him a better director.
“I tend to subscribe to the point of view that you learn nothing from your successes, and you learn everything from your failures,” said Kurtzman. “And that was probably the biggest failure of my life, both personally and professionally. There are about a million things I regret about it, but it also gave me so many gifts that are inexpressibly beautiful. I didn’t become a director until I made that movie, and it wasn’t because it was well directed — it was because it wasn’t.”
“I would not have understood many of the things that I now understand about what it means to be a director had I not gone through that experience,” continued Kurtzman. “And as brutal as it was, in many ways, and with as many cooks in the kitchen as there were, I am very grateful for the opportunity to make those mistakes because it rebuilt me into a tougher person, and it also rebuilt me into a clearer filmmaker.”
“Look, if you look at history and you look at people who’ve made amazing things, every single one of them will tell you the same story, which is that it came after a failure,” added Kurtzman. “So I look back on it now with gratitude. It took me a while to get there, but my life is better for it.”
Kurtzman’s newest series, The Man Who Fell To Earth, premieres tonight on Showtime.
What do you think about Kurtzman’s remarks? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Universal Horrors: The Studio’s Classic Films, 1931-1946, 2d edition
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