The Mummy & Tom Cruise. A thankful introspective.
Two years ago on What’cha Reading, reporting on news first published over at Variety, I wrote about Tom Cruise and his potential involvement in the then upcoming remake/reboot of Universal’s bandaged monster. This would be the first time I’d ever write about The Mummy.
The Mummy and the Universal Monsters would go on to become a very important and essential part of my life. For the entirety of 2016, my life would be devoted to the production of The Mummy, along with any other news regarding the Universal Monsters, the Universal Monsters universe of films which would go on to being named “Dark Universe.” It was this exact passion that was the foundation of Universal Monsters Universe. I originally envisioned a site that would serve as the hub for all things Universal Monsters and be the leading authority on the production of The Mummy.
I enjoyed Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy very much. Upon repeated viewings, I find it hard to not like it from a Universal Monsters fan perspective. So much of the work that went into the film – from the production design to make-up – the film is a 2 hour love letter to the classic Universal Monsters films. I also loved Tom Cruise and his character, Nick Morton. It was an interesting addition to the film which easily mirrored some of the most haunted of characters in the original Universal Monsters. Nick Morton, a modern day Larry Talbot and Dr. Jekyll, deserved to be included and given a story arc that would carry on the legacy of the Universal Monsters in a new and exciting way for modern audiences. Unfortunately, The Mummy is the last we’ll ever see or hear of Nick Morton.
When I first started Universal Monsters Universe, one of the questions I’d be asked the most is “will there be another Dracula Untold?” At the time, I actually hadn’t seen Dracula Untold and I surely wasn’t aware of the monster sized fandom around it. There was a confidence going forward that The Mummy wouldn’t go by way of Dracula Untold and considering the stakes involved of trying to start (again) a shared universe of monster films, The Mummy was almost too big to fail. If someone asked me what I envisioned for The Mummy and the Universal Monsters two years down the road from that first night I ever wrote about them, I don’t think I would have been able to envision all of this.
With Thanksgiving Day just passing, I’d like to say how grateful I am for all of this, this Universal Monsters Universe I get to play in and exist in. My original vision would not have come to fruition if it wasn’t for the help of my creative partner and friend, Joe Grodensky. It would also not have been possible if we didn’t get to work with some really great writers along the way. Going forward there’s going to be some changes, especially as we say good bye to Joe Grodensky in the upcoming year. But, just like the classic monsters, Universal Monsters Universe will continue.
On the two year anniversary of me writing about The Mummy and Tom Cruise for the first time, it’s amazing to think of the opportunities I would enjoy over the course of 2016 and 2017. I got to chronicle the production of a major motion picture, network with the cast and crew (and studio), and attend the New York City premiere of The Mummy. On the two year anniversary of me writing about The Mummy and Tom Cruise, I can’t say where I envision myself and Universal Monsters Universe in November of 2019. I suppose we’ll just have to wait until then.
(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)