Universal was well into its own shared universe decades before Marvel made the leap from comic books to the big screen. And now, with the release of The Mummy and the soon-to-go-into-production remake of Bride Of Frankenstein, the studio is looking to reclaim its throne.
The Mummy, which stars Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella, is the first installment of the “Dark Universe,” which was begun by that film’s director, Alex Kurtzman, as well as producer/writer Chris Morgan, who has written six films of the Fast & Furious franchise; writer/director Christopher McQuarrie of Mission Impossible and The Usual Suspects, and David Koepp, writer of, among many others, War Of The Worlds and Jurassic Park.
Donna Langley, Universal’s chairman, comments, “We take enormous pride in the creativity and passion that has inspired the reimagining of Universal’s iconic monsters and promise audiences we will expand this series strategically.”
Added Kurtzman and Morgan in a statement, “When Universal approached us with the idea of reimagining these classic characters, we recognized the responsibility of respecting their legacy while bringing them into new and modern adventures. The studio and our fellow creative collaborators have championed and challenged us as we’ve begun to spin the web of Dark Universe. It’s our hope these movies will engross longtime fans and spark the imaginations of brand-new ones.”
FHM’s guide to what’s planned and what’s on the horizon follows.
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Released on June 9th, the focus is on Sofia Boutella’s Egyptian princess Ahmanet, who centuries ago had been raised to be a fearless warrior and heir to her father’s throne. Her destiny was to become the first female pharaoh, but she was all but forgotten when her father sired a son. Notes the official description, “Driven mad by betrayal, she was entombed for eternity by the very people who swore loyalty to her. Her fate? Erasure from history.” In the present, she is inadvertently awoken by Tom Cruise’s Nick Morton, a soldier of fortune, and now, endowed with supernatural abilities, sets out to reclaim her stolen kingdom.
Universal’s first version of The Mummy was released in 1932 and stars Boris Karloff as Imhotep, an ancient Egyptian mummy—once a priest—who is inadvertently awakened by modern archeologists who have discovered an ancient scroll. He pretends to be a modern Egyptian, seeking out his bride who he believes has been reincarnated.
This was followed by The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1944), The Mummy’s Curse (1944), and Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy (1955), before we get into the recent wave, The Mummy (1999), The Mummy Returns (2001), and The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (2008).
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