To understand why I’m more excited than most for The Mummy, it’s important to make a list of all the things that I’m a sucker for. Tom Cruise movies? Check. Trailers or commercials that use the Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint it Black’ as a musical cue? Check-check. Movies where soldiers fight monsters? Check-check-check. In fact, if you do the math, the only thing on my Hollywood wishlist that the second The Mummy trailer doesn’t deliver is a John Wick-style gunfight, and there’s still time. One of those might still find its way into the final movie.
We need to talk about Passengers. The new Sony film from director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) and screenwriter Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange) stars Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence as two people who fall in love in space. But this space romance isn’t as innocent as it sounds.
By now, you’ve probably heard about the not-quite-twist at the center of this month’s sci-fi romance Passengers. It’s gotten a lot of attention, and people aren’t happy. If you’ve only seen the trailers, you’ve seen the “Titanic in space” aspects of the film, but there’s actually a lot more to it, and not in a good way. Director Morten Tyldum and writer Jon Spaihts have finally addressed the reason why they decided to keep that one controversial plot point in the film, but it might be too little too late. If you haven’t heard anything about this, or if you’d rather go into the movie knowing as little as possible, it’d be a good idea to turn back now, because there are SPOILERS ahead.
Since screenwriters are often the most overlooked part of any Hollywood production, you probably aren’t familiar with the name Jon Spaihts, but odds are good that you have pretty strong feelings about his work. Spaihts broke onto the scene back in 2007 when his script for Passengers was named to that year’s Black List; while that film is just now finding its way into theaters, Spaihts is also one of the writers behind Doctor Strange, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus series, and the upcoming cinematic universe of monsters at Universal Pictures. In other words, Spaihts is a name to remember.
Right after completing a new entry in one cinematic universe, screenwriter Jon Spaihts is hopping into another. The Doctor Strange scribe is jumping from the Marvel Cinematic Universe into Universal’s Monster Universe. That’s a lot of universes in one sentence, but it’s exactly what Hollywood is so obsessed with at the moment – making a bunch of movies under the umbrella of a shared world. And now we have some new details straight from Spaihts on how the new monster movies will connect.
It’s been a while since we had an update on Universal’s shared universe reboot of their classic monster characters, set to kick off with Alex Kurtzman’s redo of The Mummy in 2017. In addition to tackling famous monsters like The Wolfman and Dracula, the new cinematic universe also somewhat bizarrely includes a Van Helsing reboot, which has just tapped a pair of writers with sufficient experience in horror and sci-fi.