A new featurette for The Mummy offers audiences their first glimpse of Russell Crowe as the monstrous Mr. Hyde. Following the colossal success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Lucasfilm’s cross-platform Star Wars franchise, shared universes have become a key part of building blockbuster films. Sometimes though, the cart is put before the horse, with studios planning out huge interlocking stories before they even know if the next link in the chain is a success or not (with Sony’s planned The Amazing Spider-Man universe being the most infamous example of this).

At one point, Universal envisioned a shared universe of movie monsters, centered around reboots of their classic films. Dracula Untold was meant to kickstart this, but those plans were since dialed back following its failure. Now, Universal Pictures is once again planting the seeds of a unified film world with the upcoming reboot The Mummy. While writer/producer Chris Morgan describes these monster film reboots as “standalone” in nature, the presence of Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll in The Mummy suggests otherwise. Still, with his and Tom Cruise’s star power, The Mummy may finally prove the catalyst Universal needs to kick things off properly.

To help promote The Mummy, Syfy Wire has just released a new featurette for the movie with the cast and crew discussing how they’re attempting to ground the fantastical elements of the story in science and reality. Part of the work will rest on the shoulders of Crowe and his character Dr. Jekyll. In the video, we see a bit more of Jekyll and learn about his unique qualifications for hunting monsters. We also get a quick glimpse at the end of Crowe transforming into Mr. Hyde, teasing that The Mummy will be spotlighting more than one villain.

Russell Crowe in The Mummy First Look at Russell Crowe as Mr. Hyde in The Mummy

The shot is so brief that it’s hard to see more than just a slightly disfigured face. Given the drastic change of the title monster, there’s no telling what shape Jekyll’s alter-ego will take. In most iterations of the character, he’s merely a more monstrous take on a human. In his original appearance over 100 years ago, he looked akin to Igor from Frankenstein. In more recent interpretations, however, he’s taken on a more hulking presence.

With The Mummy less than a week away, the promotion for the film will likely continue to highlight the various aspects of the budding universe. While it could be argued that saving Hyde’s reveal for the film is the best bet, it’s become increasingly rare for blockbuster movie’s to save such unveilings for the big screen. As such, it wouldn’t be surprising if a future trailer or image showcased the full Mr. Hyde in hopes of stirring up interest in the film.

If the movie proves to be another hit for Cruise and company, then Universal may finally follow through on their plans for a shared monster universe. We’ll then likely see Crowe return, either as a connecting thread for the films or the star of his own solo feature. We could be on the verge of a new age of monster films, or be witnessing another failed launch attempt from Universal.

NEXT: The Mummy’s 5 Stages of Transformation

Source: Syfy Wire

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