While there is plenty of blame to go around on why ‘The Mummy‘ wasn’t a box office smash, it seems that some of it is being laid at the feet of the film’s star – Tom Cruise. The New York premiere was light with only security and a few minor pieces of advertising, but that didn’t hold Cruise back who happily greeted a crowd with a “Hey Y’all.” The star also introduced the director and cast where he said that “Movies aren’t made by single people. It’s a team effort.”
Only, reports are coming out that Cruise might have had too much control over the film, even more so than director Alex Kurtzman and this could be why it didn’t fare so well with critics and fans. Much as how he lead the premiere speech with everyone off to the side, it sounds as if Cruise did the same with every decision that came up on the film while on set.
Which seems to go along with when Cruise had also stated that “I don’t just make a movie. I give it everything I have, and I expect it from everyone also.”
It looks like Universal was complacent with this and had given the actor control over many aspects of the film ranging “from script approval to post-production decisions” which is something he took full advantage of. He also had a say in how the marketing was handled.
With the potential loss of money on the film which was supposed to kickstart Universal’s “Dark Universe” to rave fanfare, that could reflect poorly on the actor.
Universal released a statement on the rumor which stated:
“Tom approaches every project with a level of commitment and dedication that is unmatched by most working in our business today. He has been a true partner and creative collaborator, and his goal with any project he works on is to provide audiences with a truly cinematic moviegoing experience.”
However, this creative control was noticed by the crew all too well as the supervising art director Frank Walsh stated:
“This is very much a film of two halves: before Tom and after Tom. I have heard the stories about how he drives everything and pushes and pushes, but it was amazing to work with him. The guy is a great filmmaker and knows his craft. He will walk onto a set and tell the director what to do, say ‘that’s not the right lens,’ ask about the sets, and as long as you don’t fluff what you’re saying to him … he’s easy to work for.”
While Walsh’s statement is in no way negative, it does show exactly how much control that the star had over the production. After the production came to a close, Cruise also brought in Andrew Mondshein who generally edits his films to put the film together.
This all being said, the movie was also Kurtzman’s first feature film and the same report seems to show that he was in over his head and falling behind in many areas. Because of this, Cruise was helping out but it remains questionable if the studio was fully behind the changes he wanted to the story.
Do you think Cruise is the reason that ‘The Mummy’ became unwrapped before even hitting the box office or was it the direction of the film that did it in? Share your thoughts below!