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Gods and Monsters; 1 Year Until ‘The Mummy’ Releases!

The Mummy

Universal’s “The Mummy” opens 1 year from today, on June 9, 2017.  Set to usher in an age of “gods and monsters,” the film stars Sofia Boutella as the creature Boris Karloff originally starred as in the 1932 classic.

Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis film a scene for the movie "The Mummy' in Oxford Featuring: Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis Where: Oxford, United Kingdom When: 06 Apr 2016 Credit: WENN.com

Credit: WENN.com

While The Mummy has never been one of Universal’s most fan loved of monsters, he’s definitely had more films than the Gill-Man of 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon and Universal’s other classic, The Invisible Man (which is already planned as a reboot to star Johnny Depp).  While devoted Universal Classic Monsters fans have stuck to the originals starring Boris Karloff, Tom Tyler, and Lon Chaney Jr, much of today’s audiences are primarily only familiar with 1999’s version starring Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep.  As of 2017, Universal’s wrapped up and undead creature will be 85 years old and will have terrorized theater goers since the Karl Freund directed picture opened in December of ’32.  Starting next summer, audiences will have a new adventure and horror to experience, enjoy, and be entertained by and it will be the start of Universal’s next generation of “Monsters Universe” films.

“…to go back to a franchise’s roots in dark, scary source material, and simultaneously open it up to an epic scale we haven’t seen before.” – Jon Spaihts, screenwriter of The Mummy 

IMG_20160403_110231We’re all very excited by The Mummy and what Universal has in store for all of us next June.  It’s exciting that we’re now only 1 year out from the official start of the “Monsters Universe” and while we still do not officially know if 2013’s Dracula Untold will be a part of this series, it’s safe to venture that this will be received just as well as 2008’s Iron Man, which began the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It has a great team led by Alex Kurtzman, and an inspired cast, and will certainly be one worth following over the next 12 months.

Early on in Universal Monsters Universe history, we took a look at The Mummy and everything we know so far.  But that was a little before Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, a plot synopsis, and more announcements.  Be sure to check that out to learn more about the timeline and road to 2017’s The Mummy if you’re interested.  For now, let’s take a look at everything we know so far in modern times.

It was November 2015 when Variety first reported that Tom Cruise was in talks to star in The Mummy. along with Sofia Boutella joining the film in December by THR.  The confirmation of Cruise and Boutella would come one month later in January of this year when it was announced that Universal had shifted the release date for The Mummy from March 24th to June 9, 2017.  Other than casting credits and a plot leak from some time ago, all fans would know is:

Universal’s The Mummy is planned as the first pic in a series of interconnected monster movies as the studio hopes to build a cinematic universe out of its vault of classic creature features. Other potential films revolve around the characters of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, the Bride of Frankenstein and vampire hunter Van Helsing. – Borys Kit & Rebecca Ford of The Hollywood Reporter

With the main leads in place for The Mummy, along with Alex Kurtzman set to direct, after he was confirmed in a THR exclusive (back in 2014), The Mummy would go on to see Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Marwan Kenzari, and Courtney B. Vance added to the cast.  In a late casting addition and a bit of a surprise, it was revealed that Russell Crowe would be joining the project as Dr. Henry Jekyll.  Interestingly, it was reported that Universal was previously in talks with Tom Hardy and Javier Bardem for the iconic role.  Taking this into consideration, could it be possible that we could see Hardy and Bardem added to the “Monsters Universe” in a later film?

According to the original plot that Superhero Movies News reported on in 2014, “characters the movie include[s] archeologist Jenny Halsey, shady billionaire Lorenzo Montanari, and Malik leader of the Temple Brothers.”  That does hold up as we know Annabelle Wallis was cast as an archaeologist, but as for the shady billionaire and leader of the Temple Brothers, that’s anyone’s guess.  We could rule out Jake Johnson and Courtney B. Vance as we know Johnson is playing that of a soldier in a role written directly for him, as Vance is playing an Army Colonel.  Could Marwan Kenzari be playing either character?

My kinda girl #Jenny #TheMummy on set. #workinggirl

A photo posted by @annabellewallis on

The Mummy began principal photography in South East, London on April 4th, along with that being Sofia Boutella’s first day of shooting and has filmed in places such as Oxfordshire, The London Museum of Natural History, Surrey, Shepperton Studios, and eventually Namibia.  It’s worth noting that the production crew, along with Tom Cruise, originally scouted Malta as a potential location before deciding on Namibia in South Africa.

It was on May 6th that Universal released the first plot synopsis for The Mummy.  The Jon Spaihts scripted film does sound very intriguing as it deals with not only material that brings to mind the original 1932 classic, but also has a bit of a Lovecraftian twist.  The official plot synopsis offers fans a film that promises to “usher in a new world of gods and monsters.”  For those that may not know, “gods and monsters” is a nod to James Whale, the visionary filmmaker that gave us the Universal classics Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.

A few days later, we’d have the unique privilege of being the first to exclusively report that Brian Tyler would be scoring the Alex Kurtzman directed picture and first major “Monsters Universe” film.  Tyler is best known as being the composer and conductor on movies for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Universal’s Fast and Furious movies.

Many thanks to Tom Cruise for coming to my concert in London. A true film score aficionado! ????? #tomcruise

A photo posted by Brian Tyler (@briantylermusic) on

The Mummy is a movie we cannot wait to see as it is poised to bring the monsters “out into the light,” just as Chris Morgan (the writer, executive producer, and partner to Alex Kurtzman in the endeavor to reinvigorate the Universal Monsters) had said.  With a cast like Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella, along with a strong creative brain trust behind the project, The Mummy is definitely a film worth the hype and could easily be one of the dark horse hits in regards to studios and their attempts to present audiences with a cinematic universe as cohesive as Marvel’s.  Let’s not forget that Universal did it first with their crossover monster movies such as the films that belong in their classic library like Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man.

The above tweet is from Elizabeth Yianni Georgiou, one of the hair and make up artists working on The Mummy.  Her team, along with her daughter Bella Ava, Danielle Harding, Charlie Hounslow, and Eva Marieges have all been hard at work on The Mummy.  When June 9, 2017 comes around, their work will certainly stand on its own while also living up to the legendary artistry of Jack Pierce.

Make sure to stay tuned to Universal Monsters Universe for the latest news regarding The Mummy and as we draw closer to July’s San Diego Comic Con and the film’s June 2017 release, more information is bound to be uncovered.  And we’ll proudly be there for every step of the way.

“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 Mummy is directed by Alex Kurtzman, from a script by Jon Spaihts.  The film stars Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Marwan Kenzari, Courtney B. Vance, and Sofia Boutella as the iconic creature now revealed to be an ancient queen.  The film opens June 9, 2017.

(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)

About the author

Steven Biscotti

Mild mannered reporter, Steven Biscotti, has an avid interest in all things comic books, movies, and music (especially pertaining to Coldplay.) He stands 5'7" tall and prides himself on being the same height as Tom Cruise. Steven's favorite monster movie? "The Mummy (1999)."

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