Alex Kurtzman to direct new film based on The Mummy

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Universal Pictures is reportedly in talks with veteran genre writer/producer Alex Kurtzman to direct The Mummy, a film that will lay the groundwork for a new, cohesive cinematic universe for the studio’s classic monster franchises.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kurtzman is in final negotiations with the studio to helm the film, which is described as an action-adventure story with horror elements. The movie won’t be connected with any of the previous films based on The Mummy, and is expected to be set in the present day rather than being a period piece.

Along with potentially directing the film, Kurtzman will also co-produce the project with Fast & Furious writer/producer Chris Morgan. Kurtzman and his former collaborator Roberto Orci most recently revised the script for the film, which was initially penned by Jon Spaihts (who’s currently working on the script for Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange movie).

“Over the course of developing The Mummy, Alex has demonstrated such clarity and passion about this character and mythology,” said Jeff Kirschenbaum, Universal’s Co-President of Production. “He knows why The Mummy has fascinated us for so long and how to bring that into an inventive, incredible new adventure. It became obvious that he is the perfect choice to be not only one of the narrative engineers of this new vision but its director as well.”

While Kurtzman has a long resume as a writer and producer for recent franchises like The Transformers, Star Trek, and The Amazing Spider-Man, his only feature film as a director thus far is 2012’s People Like Us. He’s also attached to write and direct the upcoming Venom spinoff film in Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man movie universe.

The Mummy is currently scheduled to hit theaters April 22, 2016.