What We Know: The Mummy
By: Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)
Universal Studios is constructing a shared “Monsters” universe, and this year they’re going to start with The Mummy. Gone are the days of Brendan Fraser’s 1999 comedic fantasy adventure, as 2017 heralds the coming of Tom Cruise to a rebooted film.
In 2012, Universal Studios announced their plans to resurrect The Mummy. Directors Len Wiseman and Andrés Muschietti came and went before the project finally snagged Alex Kurtzman. Kurtzman, perhaps known best for his work on the Star Trek reboot scripts, signed on to direct and produce The Mummy with other producers Roberto Orci (Star Trek), Chris Morgan (Fast and Furious franchise), and Sean David (the original Mummy trilogy). While Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) and Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) penned the script for the reboot, casting began in late 2015 into early 2016. Principal photography of The Mummy began in April 2016 in the U.K., moved to Namibia for two weeks, and wrapped in August of the same year.
Dracula Untold, starring Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast), was originally supposed to kick start the Universal Monsters cinematic universe, but after a failure at the box office, Universal Studios scrapped their plans to begin with Dracula (no matter how great Evans is), and started fresh with The Mummy. The shared universe already has wheels in motion for other monster flicks such as the Invisible Man (with Johnny Depp already signed on to the project), Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and more. At 5,000 years old, the bandage-wrapped villain is the oldest, and thus felt like the right place to start things off. Kurtzman has expressed that the goal is a shared universe, but an ensemble film of monsters is not a top priority. Story lines will cross over when necessary to further the plot, but his first goal was to simply make a good film about an Egyptian mummy with a vendetta.
Speaking of vendettas, if the latest trailer for The Mummy is any indicator, it’s a powerful grudge that’s been held onto for a few thousand years. An Egyptian princess, destined to be the next queen of the kingdom, kills her father and uses magic of the darkest kind. Greedy for power, she grasped for it, fulfilling a personal destiny. Buried alive as punishment for her dirty deeds, the princess is safely imprisoned, until the tomb is blundered upon and opened by the movie’s protagonist, releasing the vengeful monster who seeks to change the modern world to her liking. It all seems straightforward until we learn that our proverbial hero may not be the good guy we are hoping for. It turns out he has been cursed by the mummy and sometimes even falls under her control for nefarious purposes. Meanwhile, an organization called Prodigium (which looks a lot like Universal’s answer to SHIELD of the MCU) plays a part, tracking monsters while working under the leadership of Dr. Jekyll. Take a look at the newest trailer for yourself:
Brendan Fraser brought us laughs in 1999, but this trailer shows us that the reboot is truly “a new world of gods and monsters.” In a horror adventure that looks a lot like Mission Impossible, but is promised by Crowe to “scare the sh-t out of you,” The Mummy will show us exactly what an angry Egyptian princess is capable of.
Speaking of the princess, for the first time in Universal monster history, the character of the mummy (known in her time as Princess Ahmanet) will be played by a woman. Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond) is ready to terrify us as the movie’s namesake character, but the movie posters can’t help but remind us that Tom Cruise will be the lead character, Nick Morton.
Russell Crowe will play Dr. Henry Jekyll, leader of Prodigium, with Marwan Kenzari working as an agent of the organization.
Nick Morton is joined by archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis, who will also be in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword this summer), Sgt. Vail (New Girl’s Jake Johnson), and Colonel Gideon Forster (Courtney B. Vance).
Other supporting cast includes Javier Botet as Set, Selva Rasalingam as King Menehptre, Chasty Ballesteros as Kira Lee, Rez Kempton as Foreman, and Dylan Smith as Lorenzo Montanari.
That’s what we know about the upcoming summer reboot so far. The Mummy will be released in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on June 9, 2017. Are you excited for the reboot, or does the original still have a special place in your heart?