Universal Pictures is now putting together a cinematic universe of its own, though not one populated by superheroes, Jedi, or even Transformers for that matter. The studio is instead pooling together its many classic monster movie properties to form the shared Monster franchise, starting in 2017 with The Mummy: a reboot of the Mummy movie series that stars Tom Cruise as an ordinary human who crosses paths with Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), an ancient princess awoken from her deathly slumber with newfound supernatural powers… and a whole lot of wrath, too.
Princess Ahmanet isn’t the only “monster” that Cruise’s character paths with over the course of The Mummy, as the film also introduces a new version of the (in)famous Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe). The first trailer for The Mummy offers a sneak peek at Jekyll as he exists in the movie’s present-day setting, but skips over including any teases of the doctor’s not-so-refined other personality, aka. the monstrous Mr. Hyde. However, comments made by The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman suggest that both Ahmanet and Jekyll’s origins are going to be explored over the course of the film.
Kurtzman alluded to The Mummy containing multiple origin stories in an interview that he conducted with EW, prior to the first Mummy trailer being released. He also teased how the film mixes thing up with respect to the typical Tom Cruise-headlined blockbuster, by pitting the A-lister against more larger than life threats (including Jekyll, who is featured in the image below) than even the man behind Ethan Hunt may be able to handle:
“There’s an origin story happening on two different fronts. I won’t tell you too much more than that, other than to say: One of the things that I think has defined Tom Cruise movies, for 30 years, is that Tom Cruise always saves the day. You know whenever you’re in a Tom Cruise movie that he’s gonna figure out a way to save the day. And that’s great, and it’s why I pay my money to see his movies. However, in the context of a monster movie, it’s challenging, because monster movies are about characters who are often very out of control, and don’t know how to save the day. The first thing I said to Tom was, ‘It’ll be scarier if we can take away the fundamental knowledge that you’re gonna solve the problem.’”
The Mummy, as was written by Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) and Jon Spaihts (Passengers), aims to work as both a standalone supernatural horror/action-adventure and as the foundation for a larger universe of “gods and monsters”, as the film’s tagline puts it. Jekyll, by the look of it, will thus serve a role in the Monster franchise similar to that which Nick Fury served (at first) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the boss of a secretive organization that is responsible for protecting the world from all manner of dangerous magical (and, in some cases, undead) creatures that roam the Earth.
EW‘s The Mummy report also alludes to Jekyll’s “bad temper”; something that a previously-released featurette for the film (showing Cruise and Crowe coming to blows during a fight sequence) had already offers a small taste of. Based on these teases, it stands to reason that The Mummy will either feature Crowe going full-Hyde at some point or setup for him to fully transform into Hyde in one of the future Monster film reboots that are currently in development. Similarly, if Kurtzman is to be believed, then The Mummy will offer some insight into what role Jekyll will be playing in this monster cinematic universe moving forward – assuming that it successfully gets off the ground, of course.