They are Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. They are not, as you might have guessed, Xander’s ever-so-slightly more mature version from that one episode of “Buffy” that one time or Damon Lindelof from “Lost” in a fright wig. The one with the unnecessarily smug puss is Kurtzman, so by process of elimination, then, the one putting all the effort into that Vulcan salute is Orci. Together they’ve co-created “Fringe” and written Star Trek, its upcoming sequel, Mission: Impossible III, and episodes of “Alias” for J.J. Abrams, which are not things to sniff or scoff at, though it wouldn’t be hard to argue that the creative and financial successes of those projects was due to the direction and the performances as much as their scripts. Because they’ve also written extensively for Michael Bay — The Island, Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, arguably His Baynis’s messiest explosions — and adapted Cowboys & Aliens from a comic book that was produced with the sole intent of being turned into a movie. Clearly, they couldn’t be bothered to add any soul to the proceedings before cashing their check.
Don’t you kind of hate them, already? Well, I’m just getting warmed up, sirs and mesdames.
Last week it was reported that Sony tapped Kurtzman and Orci to write the second Amazing Spider-Man flick, despite the fact that the first Amazing Spider-Man flick hasn’t even been released and there’s still a small chance the movie will bomb. (I said “small” fellow fanboys and -girls, I know how much the kids love slinging webs.) Of course, that kind of thing happens all the time, so why not get paid to churn something, anything out just to ensure Sony keeps the character’s copyright from reverting back to Marvel? But the sort-of-maybe-dynamic duo deserve some credit, as they certainly don’t rest on their laurels. This week Universal announced they’ll be the masterminds behind two new reborquels: Van Helsing starring Tom Cruise (as mini-Van Helsing, I guess?) and The Mummy (which is technically a reboot of a reboot). Who needs new beach houses and $16,000 haircuts? Kurtzman and Orci, that’s who!
I know it isn’t cool to suggest that someone “go die in a fire” but one can certainly hope that the scribes comically lose their hands in a tractor accident, right? Or, I suppose I could settle for spontaneous laptop combustion, but that is the absolute last concession. As I said, remember their faces…
Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He would say nobody could do worse than Stephen “Two Suns” Sommers, but he finds the first Mummy pretty damn delightful, thank you very much.