It’s all about the cinematic universes these days, and Universal is doing its darndest to revive and reboot the multiverse that started it all: The Universal Monsters.
To get it going in earnest, Universal is throwing a ton of money at big names with big franchise credentials. The modern-day retelling of The Mummy will look to win big at the box office next summer with Tom Cruise headlining a big action flick from Star Trek and Transformers screenwriter Alex Kurtzman. New details of the film emerged on Friday, when Universal announced its official synopsis, which includes a winking nod to the beloved 1930s monsters movies on which it is based. See if you can catch it in the synopsis below:
“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 last bit there about the “gods and monsters” is a reference to director James Whale’s 1935 film Bride of Frankenstein, which is a nice little way to tie this new universe to the old one. The “new world” will also include planned reboots of The Invisible Man (maybe starring Johnny Depp), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (maybe starring Russell Crowe), The Wolf Man, Bride of Frankenstein (maybe starring Angelina Jolie), Dracula, and Van Helsing.
The new version of The Mummy seems to do away with any connection to the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, but they still bear some resemblance to the late ‘90s and early 2000s hits. Theres a tomb, a desert, an ancient queen, action in London, and so on. But the Cruise Mummy will take place in the present day and looks to reconfigure the story into a Mission: Impossible-style action movie. There may be some room for spooky atmospherics here, but it’s likely going to focus on Tom Cruise jumping from buildings or motorcycles and lots of explosions. Still, the “terrors that defy human comprehension” gives some hope that the filmmakers will keep the terror along with the spectacle.
Universal has also set Kurtzman and Fast & Furious mastermind Chris Morgan to oversee the creative direction of the new shared universe, which will kick off with The Mummy next summer on June 9, 2017. An Untitled Universal Monster Franchise Film will also bow on April 13th, 2018 and February 15th, 2019.
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