Universal's monster movie-verse coming from "Star Trek's" Alex Kurtzman and "Fast and Furious'" Chris Morgan has been in the works for a while now, and the release of "The Mummy's" first trailer has signaled the new franchise's definitive beginning.
Of course "The Mummy" wasn't always perceived as the beginning of this new monster-filled cinematic universe. That honor previously went to 2014's "Dracula Untold," the origin story featuring Luke Evans in the role of the iconic vampire. It was rumored ahead of "Dracula Untold's" release that reshoots added material that could kick off the new multi-film franchise, but apparently that's no longer the case.
While talking with Screen Rant, Kurtzman gave a definitive "no" when asked directly if "Dracula Untold" was still part of the franchise. Instead, the shared monster-verse -- which will also feature Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde -- will kick off with "The Mummy."
“I believe strongly that the only way you can build a universe is not to start by trying to build a universe," said Kurtzman, sharing his thoughts on how he's building the franchise out. "If you want to get there, the only way you’re going to get there is if the audience allows you to get there. Meaning, you have to do great individual films first. The audience has to fall in love with those movies first, and those characters first, and if they do and you develop an organic story reason to start bringing them together, great! But you can’t start with ‘Let’s just mash everybody together’... In order for you to enjoy 'The Mummy,' you have to have a satisfying 'Mummy' experience. If we are then in that context able to set up a larger world? Great! But the setup of that larger world and whatever characters [star Tom Cruise] may meet over the course of the mummy movie have to be part of the mummy movie. It cannot take you out of that.”
Directed by Alex Kurtzman from a script by from a script by John Spaihts, the action-adventure horror film also stars Sofia Boutella of “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Star Trek Beyond”), Jake Johnson (“Jurassic World”), Annabelle Wallis, Courtney B. Vance (“American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson”) and Russell Crowe (“Gladiator,” “Man of Steel”) as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.
Kurtzman and Chris Morgan are overseeing the development of an interconnected movie universe that will reimagine Universal’s classic monsters. Additional films are already in development featuring the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man, Van Helsing, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Bride of Frankenstein.
“The Mummy” opens June 9, 2017.