Remember back to 2004 when a fedora-wearing #HughJackman played Abraham Van Helsing in Universal's big-budget film about the vampire hunter? We had Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and even a hint of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; but what could've expanded into a pre-empted Universal's #DarkUniverse sadly slipped off the radar to become an unfortunate standalone. Now, some 13 years later, the studio is cracking the whip once more with Alex Kurtzman's #TheMummy.
While the chances of Jackman returning to the role of the iconic hunter are about as likely as him returning to play Wolverine, anyone that is actually bothered about the Dark Universe will undoubtedly be looking at who could be next to play #VanHelsing. The Mummy gave us bandaged bitches and the arrival of Russell Crowe as the sinister Dr. Jekyll, but did we get another member of the Dark Universe paraded in front of our eyes?
Warning: spoilers for The Mummy ahead.
We already covered how #TomCruise's Nick Morton could take on the formidable mantle of Van Helsing, but now there is an altogether better theory doing the rounds. Screen Rant has come up with an impressive case that blows the Morton one out the water in a very clever sleight of hand: Is Universal doing a female-first gender flip to make Abraham into more of an Abigail? Peter Cushing, Anthony Hopkins, and Jackman have all excelled in the role, but you can't deny that we could just as easily give the fairer sex a chance to play the stoic slayer. The theory poses that it is in fact #AnnabelleWallis's Jenny Halsey from Kurtzman's film who will tip her hat as Van Helsing.
So, what's the evidence? Well, the main argument is the way in which Halsey is introduced and the fact that we are at the very start of the Dark Universe. Jenny's past was only alluded to, with the film only briefly touching on her background in archaeology without delving into her history with the shadowy Prodigium organization. Prior to The Mummy's release, Cruise hinted that Wallis's role was set to span several films; admittedly this could be easily done thanks to her part as a Prodigium handler, but it could also be in more of a lead capacity.
There is also a very weak — but possible — link within Jenny's name: Halsey could actually be an English derivative from the Dutch Helsing. It may be a little tin-foil hat, but isn't most of Disney's MCU based on Easter Eggs? Perhaps the biggest hint that there is something more to come is the ambiguous end for Jenny toward the close of The Mummy. Both Nick and Jenny are very much set to carry on in the expanded universe, while she find herself conveniently placed alongside Russell Crowe's Dr. Jekyll.
Girls On Film
Sure, The Mummy may not exactly be blowing critics away, and some have even said it can barely hold itself together, but if Jenny really is Van Helsing, it adds a whole new layer to an otherwise pretty average movie. Now is definitely a strong time for women in cinema, and although Universal wouldn't have known in advance about the superstar success of Wonder Woman, cinema is much more susceptible to female leads than it used to be. Star Wars has already showcased how a female lead can take over any franchise, and Universal could actually be doing the same with its Van Helsing casting. In addition, even if Halsey isn't already Van Helsing, the Dark Universe could even follow suit and turn the "him" into a "her."
Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem are confirmed to be playing the Invisible Man and Frankenstein's Monster, so it is a little perplexing that we haven't heard any movement on Van Helsing. However, it has been pointed out that the current cast of the Dark Universe's biggest players are more on the A-list side than a TV actor like Wallis. As one of the biggest names out there in the Monsterverse, and with the possibility for Van Helsing to span multiple films, Universal really needs to raise the "stakes" on this one!
Check out the trailer for The Mummy and don't forget our poll below!
Is Jenny Halsey playing Van Helsing in the Dark Universe?
(Source: Screen Rant)