The Mummy is the first film of Universal Pictures’ Dark Universe, a shared universe of rebooted versions of the studio’s classic monsters. Though it still has a long way to go to be as prominent as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe, the studio already has plans to expand their world of gods and monsters with new versions of Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, Creature From The Black Lagoon, and Dracula. And much more to come.
Directed by Alex Kurtzman, The Mummy follows Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) a modern-day treasure seeker who accidentally unearths a sarcophagus that was meant to seal away an ancient evil. Now that she is reawakened, she seeks to complete her malevolent ritual and terrors that will surely bring about the end of humankind.
We were fortunate enough to participate in a phone conference with our fellow journalists to talk to Kurtzman about what it means to him to bring these classic monsters to the big screen once more, the future of the shared universe, and what makes these monsters resonate with today’s audiences. For more on this plus a little bit on what to expect from the Bride of Frankenstein, click below.
The Mummy (2017) Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Russell Crowe
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 107 Minutes
Release Date: June 9, 2017
“Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters.”
If you’re a moviegoer in the year 2017, odds are you’re familiar with the concept of a “shared cinematic universe.” Whether it’s the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s The Avengers or the DC Extended Universe’s upcoming Justice League, we understand that these franchises are built on standalone stories set within the same continuity, leading to crossover events and team-up films.
The idea of a shared cinematic universe came into being over 70 years ago with the emergence of Universal Monsters. Following their popular silent films, 1923’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and 1925’s The Phantom of the Opera, Universal Studios began developing talkies based on other classic horror characters. 1931’s Dracula and Frankenstein got things started, followed by The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man (1941).
This weekend, Universal will launch the start of their brand new Dark Universe monsters franchise with a reboot of The Mummy. Directed by Alex Kurtzman, the film will bring together some of our favorite classic monsters in an all new shared universe involving Universal Monsters. It will be followed up by the Bill Condon-directed Bride of Frankenstein, starring Javier Bardem; Creature of the Black Lagoon from screenwriters Jeff Pinkner and Will Beall; The Invisible Man, starring Johnny Depp; and Van Helsing, from Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts, Arrival writer Eric Heisserer, and Dan Mazeau.
But that is just the beginning. Because Kurtzman says there are more Dark Universe films on the way. In a new interview, the man responsible for building this new Universal Monsters shared universe says Dracula, Frankenstein, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Phantom of the Opera are being developed. More on the story below.
Shared universes can be a tough sell nowadays, especially now since they can be perceived as derivative. However, if a studio puts the right creative minds together, these shared universes can be very successful.
Universal Pictures will take their first steps into launching their own starting with a reboot of The Mummy. And they are confident enough in their monsters filled universe that they have announced that the series of films reviving the studio’s classic characters for a new generation will be known as their “Dark Universe.” More on the story below.
Sometimes explorers should just leave ancient temples be. But where’s the fun in that? We’ve all heard the story before of an ancient evil being unleashed on accident, on purpose, or just because someone is curious. It’s all been done before. But for Universal’s reboot of The Mummy, it’s a little bit different. That’s because it’s a part of a dark universe of monsters.
In the film’s final action-packed trailer we see Tom Cruise being attacked by ancient monsters and hurled out of vehicles. All the while, audiences will “Witness The Beginning of a Dark Universe.” Check out the final trailer below.