There’s no more loaded screenwriting team than Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, what with their history of writing Transformers movies, troubled reboots, and outright garbage like Cowboys & Aliens. But the duo has a history of sticking their fingers in the right pies, which has led to a cozy two-year deal with Universal and sweet gigs on Star Trek and Spider-Man sequels, as well as producing event films like Ender’s Game. Their newest blockbuster endeavor will be taking on Universal’s again-dormant monster franchises, including the already-announced reboot of The Mummy, and a surprising new attempt at Van Helsing. Neither are currently screenplay jobs for the two, just producing projects.
Of course The Mummy was already a go under the steam of Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts, so presumably the two will simply be hopping on board to oversee. That new Van Helsing flick though… I doubt anyone would have put money on that being a thing yesterday.
The odd thing about the Van Helsing film is that it already has Tom Cruise attached to star, which implies someone has a hell of a pitch if they’ve hooked the rekindled star in a blockbuster that will share a name and premise with the 2004 debacle that didn’t even clear its budget in domestic grosses (ultimately it made $300 worldwide against a $160m+ budget, which means they barely squeaked even at best). It’s not as if the guy won’t have other, better things to do in the coming years.
Granted, I’m sure we’re in for a very different vision of the Helsing character than Sommers’ mishmash of camp and atrocious CGI, and let’s not forget that this is a property Guillermo Del Toro put some effort behind as well, before being rebuffed based on his RRRRRRR rating. It’s a viable concept, even if filled with exceptionally worn out ideas. I doubt they’ll get a director so passionate, but they could perhaps get someone competent.
Press release below.
Source | Collider
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, May 1, 2011—Universal Pictures today announced the studio has signed a two-year first-look production deal with one of the leading writing/producing teams in the entertainment industry, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and their K/O Paper Products banner. The duo will kick off their new relationship with Universal by reimagining titles from the studio’s library including Van Helsing and The Mummy. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Chairman, Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman, Donna Langley.
Kurtzman and Orci have collaborated with some of the industry’s top creative minds including J.J. Abrams, with whom they wrote the third installment of Mission: Impossible, which grossed nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office. In 2007, they wrote Transformers and went on to write Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2009. Together, those films grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide. More recently, the pair wrote and executive produced 2009’s Star Trek, which grossed more than $385 million worldwide. Accompanying their impressive film resume, Kurtzman and Orci have found tremendous success in television, having created the series Fringe, writing/producing Alias and in 2010, producing the reboot of Hawaii Five-O. They also currently executive produce the highest rated show on Hasbro’s The Hub, Transformers Prime.
“Alex and Roberto are extraordinarily talented writers and producers who know the value of a great story in building successful tentpole films,” Fogelson and Langley said in a joint statement. “They have been a major part of some of Hollywood’s biggest movies and television shows in recent history, and we’re eager to have them build on that success at Universal.”
“We’re thrilled to call Universal Pictures our home,” said Kurtzman and Orci. “From the moment we sat down with Adam, Donna, Peter, Jeff and the entire Uni team, there was an instant flow of inspired ideas. They really understand the importance of building a strong creative team and giving our shared projects their full support. We’re proud to start making movies that will live as part of Universal’s enduring legacy.”
Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products will develop and produce a modern reimagining of Universal library titles including The Mummy, alongside producer Sean Daniel and writer Jon Spaihts. The pair will also develop and produce Universal’s reimagined Van Helsing, with Tom Cruise attached to star in and produce the film.
Kurtzman and Orci’s upcoming projects include writing Sony’s next installment of The Amazing Spider-Man; producing Now You See Me, for Lionsgate Summit, set for release in March 2013; and producing Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, also for Lionsgate Summit. Kurtzman and Orci wrote and produced People Like Us, which marks Kurtzman’s directorial debut and is scheduled to be released in June 2012, and wrote and produced the second installment of Star Trek, set for release in 2013. The pair most recently rewrote All You Need Is Kill for Warner Bros., with Tom Cruise attached to star, Doug Liman to direct and Erwin Stoff to produce.
Kurtzman, Orci and the rest of their K/O Paper Products team, including President Bobby Cohen, will be housed on the Universal lot. Former assistants Ben Kim and Kim Cavyan will come aboard as creative executives. Kurtzman and Orci are represented by CAA and attorneys Michael Gendler and Kevin Kelly of Gendler & Kelly, APC