Universal just released a new behind-the-scenes glimpse at The Mummy ahead of its release. The Tom Cruise-led reboot, which kicks off Universal’s new “Dark Universe” of interconnected monster movies, comes out on June 9 and promises a globe-spanning adventure as the world battles back against the awakening of the evil Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). Director Alex Kurtzman made minimal use of green-screen for the movie, shooting on location and building huge sets in London and the deserts of Namibia, among other places.
It’s appropriate that the story of The Mummy would span the globe, considering that Ahmanet appears to be a massive existential threat to the entire world. But if nothing else, the movie looks to make great visual use of its filming locations, and a new behind-the-scenes featurette from Universal Pictures showcases the movie’s extensive use of its natural surroundings.
Universal revealed the new video to their official YouTube page this week, giving a fresh behind-the-scenes glimpse at the cast and crew working at the movie’s diverse set of locations. It shows members of the cast and crew, including Cruise, praising the scenery of the movie’s on-location shoots. Co-star Annabelle Wallis praises The Mummy as a “global movie,” adding “We go everywhere.” Cruise remarks that the crew built an entire city in Namibia for the movie – only to blow it all up.
The video also gives a glimpse into the on-site filming at various locations around London. Cruise complimented the city’s details like cobblestone streets, giving the movie a more “authentic” look. There’s an extended look at an airplane scene, which shows up in the trailers, that was filmed in zero gravity in France. Wallis says in the video that audiences will be impressed with how the movie “pushed boundaries with the size and the scope” of its multiple settings.
The Namib desert was one of the filming locations for two notable, visually stunning movies: 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, and Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Obviously, The Mummy will need to do much more than just shoot scenes in Namibia to even come close to approaching the quality of those aforementioned movies. Still, it’s encouraging for the film’s prospects to know that Kurtzman went for as much authenticity as possible and that it has loads of potential, from a visual standpoint.
The Mummy may have a global scope and plenty of visual ambition, but that will only carry the movie so far. Tom Cruise’s star power could help the reboot at the box office, but the movie is projected for a relatively light $40 million opening. Ultimately, Boutella will need to be a formidable villain as Ahmanet and the story around the action and visuals will need to be compelling for Universal’s big bet on The Mummy to pay off.