The Mummy reboot director says the Tom Cruise movie was the biggest failure of his life

The Mummy reboot director Alex Kurtzman has opened up about the critically panned movie, describing how he learned from the failure.

“I tend to subscribe to the point of view that you learn nothing from your successes, and you learn everything from your failures,” Kurtzman told The Playlist’s Bingeworthy podcast (opens in new tab). “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.”

The movie stars Tom Cruise as a US Army sergeant who accidentally uncovers the tomb of Ahmanet, an Egyptian princess played by Sofia Boutella who was mummified alive. Russell Crowe, Jake Johnson, and Annabelle Wallis also star. Released in 2017, the movie received overwhelmingly negative reviews and currently has a rating of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.  

“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,” Kurtzman continued. “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.”

The Mummy was Kurtzman’s first time directing a big-screen project, and he hasn’t worked on another movie since. 

His next project is a small-screen remake of The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, which is currently airing weekly on Showtime. For more viewing inspiration, check out our list of the best Netflix shows to stream right now.  

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