With the recent success of interconnected characters across film franchises and comic book-inspired TV series, Universal Studios is hoping to land big box office results with its rebooted shared monster film universe. Current plans include movies featuring Dracula, Van Helsing, the Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man (with the latter being played by Johnny Depp).
The one-monster-film-a-year schedule kicks off next year with The Mummy reboot, a modern-day story starring Tom Cruise as an ex-Navy SEAL who has a run-in with the resurrected Egyptian. In a new gender twist on the classic, Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service is set to play the mummy. Universal Chairman Donna Langley has said the studio is looking to create a PG-13 film that’s “more action than horror.”
It won’t be all rotting limbs and epic CGI battles, however. According to THR, New Girl star Jake Johnson will be joining Cruise as another member of the military in the new film. The role was reportedly written just for Johnson, so it’s a good bet the comedic actor will landing the lion’s share of funny lines in The Mummy.
Probably best known on the big screen for his quirky, dinosaur-obsessed character Lowery in Jurassic World, Johnson has also appeared in movie comedies 21 Jump Street, Neighbors, Let’s Be Cops, and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Production on The Mummy could begin as early as next month.
Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, Star Trek Into Darkness) will direct the Mummy reboot, from a script by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange). Annabelle Wallis (The Brothers Grimsby) is also in talks to play an archaeologist in the film, essentially filling the spot that Rachel Weisz occupied in the 1999 remake of The Mummy.
The Marvel superhero universe has had its share of sarcasm and comedy amidst the action and drama, so it’s not surprising that Universal would add some levity to its newest monster film. While the reboot probably won’t have the same campy tone as the most recent Brendan Fraser-led Mummy movies, the success of that franchise also proved that monster movies don’t need to be super serious business. Cruise has also shown himself capable of a lighter touch on the big screen, so whether he’ll be playing straight man to Johnson’s character or joining in the banter, the duo’s interactions should provide an entertaining aspect of The Mummy.
The Mummy opens in U.S. theaters on June 9, 2017, followed by a currently-untitled Monster Movie on April 13th, 2018.