Universal has unveiled a new international trailer for The Mummy, which you can watch above. All of Hollywood has gone shared-universe crazy, and Universal Pictures wants to get in on the action by establishing its own multi-film cross-over uber-world built around its stable of classic monsters. The studio is hoping that this summer’s reboot of The Mummy starring international action hero Tom Cruise will help launch that shared universe in a way that builds enthusiasm for their planned future projects, while Cruise just hopes to have a hit after the disappointing performance of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.
The Mummy reboot already looks way different than the Mummy/Scorpion King series starring Brendan Fraser and Dwayne Johnson. For one thing, the new movie’s scope has been considerably widened, setting the action not just in the deserts of Egypt but all over the world. For another thing, there’s Tom Cruise.
Early promotional material for The Mummy has promised a large-scale movie that combines classic monster elements with the kind of wild, over-the-top action set-pieces one associates more with Cruise’s Mission: Impossible films than anything inspired by Boris Karloff. A new international trailer for The Mummy has appeared, and it hits most of the same notes that the recent U.S. trailer hit, but with a couple key differences that point to how the movie is being marketed overseas vs. how it’s being sold to domestic audiences.
The first thing one notices about the international trailer is that it’s slightly less frenetic than the U.S. one, with more build-up in the early stages and more emphasis on the sidekick character played by Jake Johnson. Both trailers hit the same key plot points: Tom Cruise and his friends find a mysterious tomb; Cruise ill-advisedly breaks a rope that unleashes whatever is inside the tomb; Cruise dies but is resurrected; Russell Crowe shows up to fill in the backstory (a role he should be comfortable with after Man of Steel); the ancient evil embodied by Sofia Boutella goes rampaging through London.
Another difference with the international trailer is how the Rolling Stones song “Paint It Black” is employed. In the U.S. trailer the song kicks in early and is spread over the whole thing, but in the international trailer there’s more traditional-sounding score music until the song finally appears during the shot of Tom Cruise waking up on the slab and breaking out of the body bag. The international trailer also puts more emphasis on humor, showing more banter between Cruise and Johnson and also putting a little punchline at the end when Cruise tells Annabelle Wallis he only gave her the parachute in the now-famous airplane sequence cause he thought there was another one. In the U.S. trailer, instead of that humorous line, we see a dramatic scene of Cruise and Wallis submerged up to their necks in water when Boutella suddenly appears behind them.
Universal appears to have decided that, for international audiences, they should emphasize humor and downplay horror, while not playing wall-to-wall Rolling Stones. U.S. audiences are being prepared for a less-funny, more-scary movie with a pop music soundtrack a la Suicide Squad. And all audiences are being asked to strap in because Tom Cruise is about to go to war with something unbelievably powerful that is trying to remake the earth after the image of its own world (a plan General Zod would be proud of).