Please Let Luca Guadagnino Direct A Remake Of The Mummy

Luca Guadagnino knows his way around stories about bodies. He's done body horror with 2018's "Suspiria," sensual romance with "Call Me By Your Name," and now, a combination of the two in his cannibal love story "Bones and All." It's only right, then, that after proving himself so well-versed in the art of making stories about the heart and guts we all possess, that Guadagnino takes a crack at remaking a classic he loves. The filmmaker even has one in mind: 1932's "The Mummy."

Guadagnino referenced the Universal horror flick in an interview with Collider, when he was caught off guard by a question about which horror classic he'd like to remake next. "Oh my god, what should I do?" Guadagnino said, clearly taking the prompt seriously, before settling on an answer: "I think it would be amazing to do something about 'The Mummy.'"

To be clear, the filmmaker isn't trying to touch the swashbuckling 1999 crowd-pleaser starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Instead, his sights are set on the pre-Hays Code film by Karl Freund, which stars Boris Karloff as the Egyptian high priest Imhotep, who is awakened from his tomb and rejoins society in hopes of finding his long-lost princess. Guadagnino isn't so much interested in the romance here as the horror, though. "It should be a little movie but with a lot of depth and very scary," he told Collider.

A match made in body horror heaven

In particular, the sense of decay that permeates mummy stories apparently appeals to the director. "It's a rotten body in rotten bandages, so what's inside is [as] interesting as what's outside," he shared. The film, which is part of the same classic Universal monsters franchise that includes "Dracula" and "Frankenstein," famously ends with Karloff's mummy crumbling into dust. Imhotep's story is darker and more heartbreaking than some on-screen interpretations (remember the Tom Cruise version? Me neither), and Guadagnino's vision for the story would capture that feeling. "It should be very scary and very, very terminal," he tells Collider.

While the filmmaker didn't comment on any other versions of "The Mummy" that do exist, he mentioned one that never got off the ground. "There is a Joe Dante Mummy that never happened that I feel so bad about because Joe is such a master and I am sure he would have made something incredible," Guadagnino shared. Dante, the filmmaker behind "Gremlins," "The 'Burbs," and "Piranha," apparently came close to making his version of the film in the '90s.

Guadagnino wants to see the Joe Dante version, too

According to One Room With A View's Best Films Never Made series, before Stephen Sommers' take on the film hit big, horror legend George A. Romero was poised to remake "The Mummy" himself with a script from Alan Ormsby and John Sayles. The story apparently included a reincarnation plot much like the Universal classic, but was at once more romantic and more horror-tinged. At some point, Romero left the project, and Dante was reportedly in talks to take over — with Daniel Day-Lewis starring. 

The story of how it all fell apart is just as wild as how it almost came together. According to an interview Dante gave with MUBI, Steven Spielberg took the filmmaker to meet with Sid Sheinberg, the then-head of Universal. While touring the set of "Casper," Dante says Sheinberg shut down Dante's idea for a modernized spin on the story, and the project fell apart.

As mind-boggling as this unrealized version of the film sounds, I'm now even more hooked on the idea of a version made by Guadagnino. While attempted reboots of the Universal monster universe seem about as cursed as a mummy's tomb themselves, I'd love to see the "Bones and All" filmmaker excavate this story and breathe new life into its dusty, rotten lungs.