Recently, the trailer for the upcoming film The Mummy was released. Now, I know a lot of people fondly remember the good old franchise that starred Brendan Fraser, but this new movie is a far departure from that. The upcoming film stars the likes of Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella and is set to begin Universal's shared Monster Universe.
Originally, Dracula Untold starring Luke Evans was supposed to be the first installment, but apparently, that is no longer the case. Now, it looks like #TheMummy is going to be our first look into that shared universe. So, why would a monster shared universe be a good thing, when DC and Marvel have been doing it for so long with people in tights and capes? Well, because it’s completely different!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a comic book fanboy through and through. I love all the new movies (no matter how bad critics say they are). However, the reason why I think this shared monster movie universe could be a great thing goes back to a staple of my childhood. When I was a little kid, one of my favorite movies to watch was The Monster Squad. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it featured preteen kids fighting off the likes of Dracula, the mummy, a werewolf and the creature from the black lagoon. It’s not the best movie ever made, but I would argue that it’s an amazing cult classic. Best of all, it’s not a part of my childhood that has been marred by reboots or remakes, so it’s something that is still pure and cherished for me.
This shared Monster Universe is essentially going to give grown-up me an adult version of The Monster Squad. Already, The Mummy introduces Dr. Jekyll with Russell Crowe and more films such as Van Helsing, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolfman (which recent rumors place Dwayne Johnson as a possible lead), Frankenstein (with Javier Bardem rumored for the lead), The Invisible Man (Johnny Depp is supposedly attached) and The Bride of Frankenstein. It’s looking like Universal is assembling solid talent for this new #UniversalMonsters-verse. It's only a matter of time before these monsters start to cross over and horror fans are going to get to see the classics go toe to toe.
Best of all, it seems like the film’s director, Alex Kurtzman, has been taking notes on what DC and Marvel have been doing, and had this to say:
“I believe strongly that the only way you can build a universe is not to start by trying to build a universe. 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.”
From what I can gather, that means that the franchise is going to focus on its characters first and making sure it can tell the best stories possible, before pushing them together.
Personally, I’ve always loved classic monsters and with a character-first focus on these films (and an eventual shared universe down the line), I can’t wait to see how all these characters come together. I’m hoping that it will lead to a war between humans and monsters, but that’s just speculation at this point. Either way, it’s going to give audiences a refreshing break from superheroes. I’m just hoping that it stays true to the horror elements that makes these characters so popular and doesn’t try to glam them up so they can become their own superhero team. I guess only time will tell, though.
In the meantime, The Mummy hits theaters June 9, 2017. I’m certain we’ll get a lot more trailers before then that reveal a bit more of the story.
So, what do you think? Is this new Monster-verse a good thing? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.