Some things that are dead never really die. Such is the case for the eponymous creature at the head of the “Mummy” film franchise -- and the series itself -- which was reignited in 1999 as a campy horror-action movie starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. The movie spawned multiple sequels, including the direct follow-up starring Fraser, “The Mummy Returns,” and 2008's “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Empire.” The film franchise even saw a spinoff series with the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson-led “The Scorpion King” and its three follow-up movies, the last of which debuted in 2015.
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Now, Universal Pictures is readying for a reboot of “The Mummy" once again. The film stars Tom Cruise as a man brought back to life by the power of a resurrected ancient Egyptian monarch, Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who must then contend with the otherworldly curse he has unleashed. A new promo for the film highlights Ahmanet’s power, characterizing her return as “the ultimate evil.”
The film will serve as the entry point to Universal Studios’ shared Monster universe that looks to bring together multiple reboots of classic horror-action movie franchises in a shared narrative, not unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the DC Extended Universe. Details on which films are planned for the Universal Monsters shared universe are limited, but the upcoming “Van Helsing” reboot will reportedly be connected.
Other films either planned or currently in development for the Universal Monsters shared universe include movies based off classic films like “The Invisible Man,” “The Wolf Man,” “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” and “The Bride of Frankenstein.” The film properties all harken back to the earliest days of Universal Studios, which produced some of the most iconic horror films and their respective monsters in American cinematic history between the 1920s and 1950s, beginning with the silent films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
While these classic films did not share their own cinematic universe, the new promo video for “The Mummy” hints at how the modern era of Universe Studios’ monster movies will be linked, as laid out by Russell Crowe’s character, Dr. Henry Jekyll, the head of the monster hunting organization known as Prodigium. If Universal Studios’ is taking a hint from Legendary Pictures and its MonsterVerse cinematic universe, it’s likely the Universal Monsters shared universe will be linked via Prodigium, much like Legendary’s “Godzilla” and “Kong: Skull Island” are linked by the kaiju-researching Monarch organization.
Debuting on June 9, “The Mummy” is a production of Universal Pictures directed by Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance and Russell Crowe.