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Alex Kurtzman is no longer keeping his feelings about making The Mummy under wraps.
Kurtzman, who is a writer, director and executive producer on Showtime’s new sci-fi series The Man Who Fell to Earth, opened up to the Bingeworthy podcast on Friday about his “brutal” experience as helmer of the Tom Cruise-starring film that was an intended reboot of the Mummy franchise. The project, which was released in June 2017 and had been envisioned as launching Universal’s cinematic Dark Universe focusing on the studio’s movie monsters, was unsuccessful critically and commercially, and Kurtzman hasn’t directed a feature since.
“I tend to subscribe to the point of view that you learn nothing from your successes, and you learn everything from your failures,” Kurtzman said. “And that was probably the biggest failure of my life, both personally and professionally. There’s 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.”
Kurtzman, who previously worked as a writer on such movies as Transformers (2007), Star Trek (2009) and Cowboys & Aliens (2011), said he understands more about filmmaking after having gone through that process.
“And as brutal as it was, in many ways, and 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,” he shared. “And that has been a real gift, and I feel those gifts all the time because I’m very clear now when I have a feeling that doesn’t feel right — I am not quiet about it anymore. I will literally not proceed when I feel that feeling. It’s not worth it to me. And you can’t get to that place of gratitude until you’ve had that kind of experience.”
Jenny Lumet, who is also a writer and executive producer on The Man Who Fell to Earth, was a guest with Kurtzman on the podcast. Lumet, who has a story credit on The Mummy, said she is “very grateful” to have worked on the film and added, “I don’t think that I could be here now without that experience.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 review of The Mummy, which also starred Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis and Sofia Boutella, called the film an “inauspicious beginning to a would-be franchise.” It currently holds a 16 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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