Tom Cruise on The Mummy 'became a textbook case of a movie star run amok'

A damning report claims he controlled almost every aspect of the film

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The Independent Culture

The Mummy has reached the international box-office, taking huge amounts in China and becoming Tom Cruise’s biggest international taking with a $142 million opening weekend.

However, with a rumoured budget exceeding $190 million, plus marketing costs over more than $100 million, the first Dark Universe franchise instalment may struggle to make back its money.

One factor has been the critics’ negative reaction, many heralding the film as a disaster. Of course, studio executives are looking for someone to blame, with many pointing to leading star Tom Cruise.

According to Variety, the former Top Gun had an ‘excessive amount of control’ over the project, making significant changes. 

The damning report, which cites numerous sources, describes what happened as another ‘textbook case of a movie star run amok’. 

They claim Universal contractually guaranteed Cruise huge amounts of control, including script approval, post-production oversight, and decisions regarding marketing.

As mentioned previously, Cruise brought numerous new writers on board after signing onto the project, even being asked to give director Alex Kurtzman the go-ahead.

In perhaps one of the most revealing passages from the report, sources claim ‘as Kurtzman struggled to adjust to scope of the project, it felt more like Cruise was the real director, often dictating the major action sequences and micro-managing the production.’

Cruise's role was also beefed up by the new writers: whereas his character and the titular Mummy shared equal time initially, they made him more central. Also, a huge character twist towards the film's end, one the studio 'weren't thrilled about', was added by the writers.

The Mummy - Trailer 2

Supervising art director Frank Walsh said of The Mummy: “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.”

Universal have issued a statement on the report, saying: “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.”

Over the past decade, Hollywood has seen the gradual progression from star-power selling tickets, or brand power. Marvel, Star Wars, and DC are making huge amounts despite having relatively unknown director and stars helming projects. Whether a good or bad thing remains to be seen.