Dylan Kussman, an actor and writer recognizable for his performances in Dead Poets Society and The Way of the Gun; a kickstarter for a project titled Olives, and a new revelation about the production of 2017’s The Mummy. UMU learns how it’s all connected.
A few days ago, we learned of an exciting project on Kickstarter through Elizabeth Georgiou, one of the talented hair & make-up artists working on The Mummy. Her daughter, Alannah Olivia, has an upcoming show that she wrote and will direct if it receives enough funding.
In Alannah Olivia’s write up for Olives, she mentions the following:
We have two prolific Producers on board; Dylan Kussman (Writer on Mission Impossible Rogue Nation and The Mummy 2017) and multi BAFTA and Oscar nominated Lizzie Yianni Georgiou (Guardians of the Galaxy, An Education)
The listing of Dylan Kussman as a writer on The Mummy was quite fascinating given that all previous mentions only go on to list that the script has been penned by Jon Spaihts. In the draft we read earlier this summer, the only credited name was Jon Spaihts. Considering the early stage of the draft, it makes sense that Dylan Kussman had yet to be brought on board.
Dylan Kussman, most recognizable as an actor and writer from Dead Poets Society, is obviously a friend of Christopher McQuarrie. Having previously worked with the writer/director on The Way of the Gun and Jack Reacher, it’s great seeing how far established relationships with McQuarrie extend outside of film. Timed around the bu-ray release of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Wired released a digital comic that served as a prologue of sorts to the events of the fifth film. It was written by Kussman and marked his first time writing a “graphic novella” as he put it on Twitter. I previously spoke about this over at What’cha Reading in December of last year and to see Kussman and Tom Cruise partner on The Mummy, after working together on Jack Reacher and Mission: Impossible, is very exciting.
Considering many of the rules and regulations that the WGA has, it’s likely that Dylan Kussman’s involvement with The Mummy falls into that murky territory much like Edward Norton’s involvement in writing 2008’s The Incredible Hulk for Universal. However, Kussman has been outspoken about the upcoming film and he’s even gone on to tweet about this. Up until now this has been relatively quiet with no other mention found elsewhere. You could check out what he had to say below:
Getting the character names “Whemple” and “Helen” on The Mummy callsheet tonight is the highlight of my screenwriting career. #BorisKarloff
— Dylan Kussman (@DylanKussman) April 13, 2016
Saturday at Shepperton. Don’t count the pages, count the setups. pic.twitter.com/5ZpuYpOotC
— Dylan Kussman (@DylanKussman) July 23, 2016
— Dylan Kussman (@DylanKussman) August 2, 2016
There are two major takeaways from this. First, it’s apparent that Mr. Dylan Kussman has been involved with The Mummy since back during rehearsals. Second, his mention of the names “Helen” and “Whemple” on the callsheet. Frank Whemple was played by David Manners, with Arthur Byron playing Sir Joseph Whemple in the 1932 classic. The character of Joseph Whemple appeared in the 1959 Hammer remake, as well. And do we even need to mention that Zita Johann was Helen Grosvenor? This fact alone of classic characters being referenced should quiet any enthusiastic fans concerned about the direction of the film.
Let’s also take note of the fact that Jake Johnson’s character did not originally appear in Jon Spaihts’ draft. Johnson stars as a soldier in a role written directly for him and it’s entirely possible that Dylan Kussman was/is integral to the addition of Johnson’s character.
While there are many still debating on whether or not Tom Cruise is named Tyler Colt, or if Courtney B. Vance’s character is named either Col. Forster or Greenway, it sure is fun for Universal Monsters fans to know the iconic characters of 1932’s The Mummy are being treated with the utmost respect, along with a proper care of the 32′ and 59′ versions.
“Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.
Thought safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient queen (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.
From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.”
The Mummy is directed by Alex Kurtzman, from a script by Jon Spaihts. The film stars Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Marwan Kenzari, Courtney B. Vance, Russell Crowe and Sofia Boutella as the iconic creature now revealed to be an ancient queen. The film opens June 9, 2017.
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)
For more on Alannah Olivia’s project Olives, and for anything you could spare to see her project happen, please visit the link below:
Here is the plot synopsis for the planned show:
‘OLIVES’ follows the lives of three women in their mid-twenties of various ethnicities, but who are all essentially olive-skinned, hence the title. We follow our three girls through their struggle to overcome the social (but also self-imposed) limitations of being an ethnic woman in our current society. We see them go to extreme lengths to find themselves by embracing their racial, spiritual and sexual identities. It is a heartfelt comedy which tackles some very current and important themes.
For more on Dylan Kussman, you could follow him on Twitter @DylanKussman. He’s also made his directorial debut for a film entitled Wrestling Jerusalem.