“I have heard the stories about how he drives everything and pushes and pushes, but it was amazing to work with him. 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.” Once the film was done, Cruise brought in his longtime editor Andrew Mondshein to piece together the final picture.
There were few signs that a major blockbuster was about to premiere when “The Mummy” rolled into Manhattan last week.
The marquee of the AMC Loews Lincoln Square Theatres had gone blank. Security only let guests past barricades after quizzing them about what they were there to see, and everybody had to walk through two imposing metal detectors.
In the 1990s and early aughts, studios shelled out big money for the likes of Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, and Harrison Ford, confident that their names above the title could guarantee ticket sales.
In exchange they were offered big perks, hefty salaries, and a sizable share of the profits.
Some believed that Cruise had no choice but to assert himself.
Given Kurtzman’s inexperience directing tentpoles, Cruise, who has carried heavily choreographed action movies all his life, had to try to rally the troops or risk having the production fall behind schedule.
In the same way that he commanded the stage at the film’s premiere, leaving his cast standing awkwardly by his side, several sources close to the production say that Cruise exerted nearly complete creative oversight on “The Mummy,” essentially wearing all the hats and dictating even the smallest decisions on the set.
On stage, Cruise admitted his own perfectionist tendencies. I give it everything I have and I expect it from everyone also.” Universal, according to sources familiar with the matter, contractually guaranteed Cruise control of most aspects of the project, from script approval to post-production decisions.
But instead, it’s become a textbook case of a movie star run amok.
As Hollywood is playing the blame game on what went wrong on “The Mummy,” which had a measly domestic opening of just million, many fingers are pointing to Cruise.
The actor personally commissioned two other writers along with Mc Quarrie to crank out a new script.