1932's The Mummy is a cinematic classic that's been periodically brought back to life by Universal Pictures. The first series ran through 1955, with a second reboot following in 1959, with a third series hitting theaters in 1999, with Brendan Fraser in the lead role.
Now, Universal has brought the series back once again, for an ambitious new cinematic universe that will include all of the classic monsters in the studio's back catalog, this time starring Tom Cruise. Here's all the news, updates, and trailers for latest reboot.
The Mummy hits theaters on June 9th, 2017.
Jun 13, 2017
The latest cinematic iteration of The Mummy takes off when antiquities thief Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) unearths an ancient Egyptian tomb — in Iraq. Ignoring the portents of impending doom (and the fact that stealing antiquities is illegal and also wrong), Morton and his Army buddies unearth a sarcophagus. Inside lies the mummy Ahmanet, an undead pharaoh’s daughter who was mummified alive and is royally pissed off about it. She comes back to life, psychically imprints on Morton, and wreaks havoc on London.Read Article >
Unlike werewolves or vampires, mummies are creature-feature mainstays that actually do have real-world counterparts. That’s why archaeologist David Hurst Thomas, co-curator of the Mummies exhibit on display at the American Museum of Natural History, has been getting a lot of movie-inspired questions lately. “It really opens the door to talk about this stuff,” Thomas says.
Jun 13, 2017
You learn a lot about movie protagonists from the first choice they make in a story. Films have to convey most of their characterization through dialogue and action, and the early choices are the ones that define a character’s identity. Consider the first decisions made by Nick Morton, Tom Cruise’s hapless antihero character in the misbegotten Universal Studios franchise-launcher The Mummy. The movie starts with him going AWOL from the Army to loot an ancient tomb. He nearly gets himself and a buddy killed with his lack of planning and basic observational skills. Out of sheer impatience, he deliberately vandalizes the protections around an ancient sarcophagus. And in the process, he unleashes the monstrous undead princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), kicking the plot into motion. Before the first act is over, he’s established himself as a reckless, greedy, amoral ass.Read Article >
Nick has a redemption arc coming, so this setup gives him plenty of room for character improvement. But the script doesn’t do much to justify or underline that arc, beyond throwing in one line about the good man inside him, “fighting to get out.” His ultimate act of altruism is muddled by sloppy storytelling, and the lead-up is vague and lazy. His character is only really convincing — and entertaining — in the early going, when he’s an unalloyed bastard. And the story so clearly leads in a direction where that bastardry could have been fully realized, in a way that would have given the film some real narrative power. Both as a standalone film and as a platform for Universal Studios’ planned Dark Universe series of monster movies, The Mummy would have been more effective if it had fully embraced that introductory scene, and let Nick Morton become the story’s villain.
Jun 10, 2017
The Mummy hits theaters this weekend, and it’s clear that it’s more than just a movie: it’s Universal Studios’ attempt to jumpstart a Marvel-style cinematic franchise that will bring together its various classic monster properties under the Dark Universe banner. It’s an ambitious goal, but there are already signs that it’s coming out of the gate on shaky feet. On the off chance that this effort flops, Universal has plenty of options to try again.Read Article >
The cinematic-universe framework sounds really good on paper. Done right, it theoretically creates a massive, interconnected, immersive universe that in turn creates a built-in fanbase and revenue. Marvel and DC have scored financial successes with their respective comic-book universes, Lucasfilm’s Star Wars franchise is chugging along at full speed, and Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures are embarking on their own Monsterverse project with its Godzilla and King Kong films. But in practice, it’s an increasingly difficult sell as audiences get fatigued and as lackluster individual entries threaten to upset a studio’s plotted out roadmap. The Mummy is actually Universal’s second attempt to get this particular world up and running: 2014’s Dracula Untold was originally intended to launch the Dark Universe, but those particular plans were shelved when the movie flopped.
Jun 7, 2017
“Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters,” Russell Crowe solemnly intones midway through The Mummy, a modern action remake of Universal Pictures’ 1932 monster-movie classic. It’s a slight variant on a line from Bride Of Frankenstein, another Universal classic, and it’s consciously presented as a tagline for the studio’s new “Dark Universe” franchise. To date, Universal has planned out eight films in the series, in an attempt to forge a modern money-printing machine like the Marvel Cinematic Universe out of its legacy films. Crowe’s character, an update on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Henry Jekyll, is presented as a gateway to that universe, and a representative of Prodigium, an organization that deals directly with the problems caused by gods and monsters.Read Article >
He’s also, incidentally, an actual character with a story function in The Mummy. But director Alex Kurtzman and his screenwriting team (David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dylan Kussman) don’t care as much about that as they do about the big picture. The Mummy is a relatively functional creature-feature movie, packed with oversized action sequences. But it reminds viewers at every turning point that it isn’t a story so much as a prologue, a brand-deposit setup meant to whet appetites for more Dark Universe installations. The approach may pay off in the long run, but in the short term, it feels like sitting down for a movie, and getting a feature-length trailer instead.
May 22, 2017
Universal Pictures is bringing its roster of classic movie monsters back to the forefront with its newly named Dark Universe series — the long-promised web of films kicking off with The Mummy this summer. The next film in the series to hit theaters will be Bride of Frankenstein on Feb. 14th, 2019.Read Article >
Universal has ditched its previous plans to release a Dark Universe movie in 2018 and will instead focus on the 2019 Bride of Frankenstein, which will be directed by Beauty and the Beast’s Bill Condon. There are no details on who will play the titular role, though Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley called the movie a story about “a very modern woman in a very classic tale.”
May 18, 2017
The latest and “final” trailer for The Mummy is flush with creepy special effects, Tom Cruise, and somewhat sadly, complete sound. It also boldly reminds viewers that we’re not just looking at a single new film: this is just the first in an entire series of upcoming monster films.Read Article >
“Witness the beginning of a dark universe,” the trailer proclaims — possibly in reference to the rise of the film’s Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), but more likely an overt nod to the “Universal Monsters” world-building the movie is doing. While Cruise may ostensibly be the hero in The Mummy, Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll acts as a sort of Nick Fury for a whole mess of movie monsters pulled from Universal’s history. Think the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, and Abraham Van Helsing, and you’ll get the idea.
Dec 20, 2016
We live in an age of reboots and cinematic universes. And yet I had no idea that Hollywood was rebooting The Mummy until this morning, when the IMAX YouTube channel uploaded a Mummy trailer in which the sound was hilariously butchered. It was a pretty fantastic goof.Read Article >
Instead of riding the gift of a spontaneous publicity wave for an unnecessary reboot, Universal Pictures is now doing The Dumb Thing and issuing DMCA takedown notices to stop the trailer from spreading. But the folks at Universal Pictures are forgetting one of the most beautiful and terrifying things about the internet: you can’t stop it, you can only hope to contain it.
Dec 20, 2016
Universal Pictures' Mummy reboot is one of many attempts by production companies to start a new cinematic universe, but Universal seems to be taking its new film to an exciting new place: one with no sound effects. The first half of the IMAX trailer for the Mummy, originally uploaded last week and spotted by Waypoint's Austin Walker before being pulled by IMAX, inexplicably features no background music, foley, or other sound apart from the actors' voice tracks.Read Article >
That means that the exploding planes, swarms of birds, and smashing windows shown in the action-packed trailer are totally inaudible. In Universal Pictures' horrible new universe, Tom Cruise is the main source of sound, his shrieks, shouts, and screams piercing the deafening silence as he's tossed around the inside of a stricken cargo plane. Fortunately, it's not just Tom allowed to talk in Universal's new world — co-star Annabelle Wallis also gets to make a hilarious little "whooo!" noise as a parachute pulls her into the sky.
Dec 5, 2016
In the age of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, every studio wants a behemoth self-referential franchise to call its own. Last night, we got a look at Universal’s effort: a reboot of the classic Universal Monsters films, beginning with The Mummy. The lurching bandaged corpse of the past has been replaced with Tom Cruise, an ancient female mummy bent on global destruction, and an extravagant special effects budget.Read Article >
Universal is serious about this franchise push, going so far as to lay groundwork in the very first trailer. “Welcome,” says Russell Crowe, “to a new world of gods and monsters.” But how does the studio plan to adapt eight-year-old properties to compete with Iron Man and the Skywalker family?
Dec 5, 2016
Marvel may have kicked off the current expanded cinematic universe craze, but the concept arguably started back with the classic Universal Pictures horror films — and the studio is hoping that the first trailer for The Mummy will be the beginning of a new run of interconnected movies. Starring Tom Cruise and directed by Alex Kurtzman — best known as the writer of movies like Star Trek Into Darkness and Transformers — the new Mummy looks to be as much an action film as anything else, with Cruise stuck in a death-defying sequence right at the top, and facing various moments of peril and adventure throughout the clip. Star Trek Beyond’s Sofia Boutella stars as the titular Mummy herself.Read Article >
Kurtzman has been masterminding the new “Universal Monsters” universe alongside Fast and the Furious architect Chris Morgan, with films about characters like The Invisible Man, the Wolf Man, and vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing in various stages of development. But in a briefing with journalists last week, Kurtzman emphasized that putting a universe ahead of any given character or film was a surefire way to fail.
Dec 8, 2015
Universal's classic monster universe is ready to start expanding, and it looks like The Mummy will be its latest installment. TheWrap reports that Kingsman: The Secret Service star Sofia Boutella has just been cast to play the titular monster in the upcoming remake. Tom Cruise is currently in negotiations to star opposite her as a Navy SEAL who has history with her. Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 writer Alex Kurtzman is currently attached to direct.Read Article >
Boutella is clearly on the rise in Hollywood, since she just finished filming Star Trek Beyond, which is set to hit theaters next summer. Seeing her in a traditionally male role is a welcome change to the Mummy franchise. However, there's really no telling how good the film will be. Considering how underwhelming Dracula Untold turned out to be last year, the revived Mummy will have to raise the bar significantly to justify audiences meeting Frankenstein and the Wolfman in the years ahead.
Jul 16, 2014
Superhero movies have been all the rage in Hollywood, but Universal Pictures has more or less been left out of their success. It now has an idea for what might come next, though: monsters. According to Deadline, Universal plans to bring back its classic monsters — which include Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy — in a big way. It's brought on two blockbuster writers to begin creating a connected universe for Universal's monsters, which will begin to show up in a series of rebooted films.Read Article >
Universal has already been at work on a reboot of The Mummy for April 22nd, 2016, and Deadline reports that it will be the first in this new series of monster movies. A Van Helsing reboot has also been in the works for several years, and Variety reports that it too will be part of this new monster slate.