Hollywood’s fascination with mummies and the undead can be traced back to the Universal monster movies of old. The first mummy movie was 1932’s The Mummy, where Boris Karloff cut a fiendish figure as a mummy searching for the reincarnation of his lost lover. The popular Mummy franchise starring Brendan Fraiser were the last films to involve mummies, until now. Universal, seeking to build a cinematic universe surrounding their classic monsters, has produced The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella.
With a second trailer on the horizon, Universal unveiled additional footage from The Mummy reboot at CinemaCon today. Tom Cruise was not in attendance, but introduced the new trailer via video, saying the film is a “bold, romantic, epic, terrifying monster film.” And judging by the reactions to the new footage, terrifying is a good adjective to describe it. Early reports talk of scenes of destruction and mayhem, and include one terrifying sequence in which Tom Cruise is “drowning in rats,” as well as Boutella’s mummy being buried alive. All of the footage released promises an emphasis on the horror elements of the franchise.
The biggest reveal to come out of the panel centers on Boutella’s Ahmanet, the mummy wreaking havoc on the modern world. Boutella talked about how she was a princess who was promised the position of Pharaoh, but was lated denied the throne when she used her powers to pursue a darker path. “Playing a monster was really interesting to me, but also the fact that the mummy was a woman. Whenever something happens, there’s always a monster within us,” Boutella said (via The Wrap). This is a different enough backstory to separate her from previous mummy villains, who were mostly motivated by a desire to find their reincarnated loves, or to bring their loves back from the dead.
The implication at The Mummy presentation is that Ahmanet’s backstory gives the character a feminist bent, which will be interesting to see play out once the film is released. It’s still pretty rare to have a female villain whose backstory and motivation are not defined by the men in her life, and Ahmanet seems to be fine doing bad all by herself. Of course, a backstory does not a feminist character make. If Ahmanet is an interesting villainess on her own, without falling prey to the tropes that often accompany female villains, then she’ll be considered a feminist character. If not, she’ll be another somewhat failed experiment in attempting to craft a strong female baddie.
It isn’t known yet whether the footage screened at CinemaCon is exactly the same as the second trailer for The Mummy that will be released this weekend. However, expect the next trailer to also highlight the horror elements of the film, as well as Boutella’s haunting mummy. Expect there to be no shortage of shots from Cruise’s action scenes in the film, either.
Source: The Wrap
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