Sofia Boutella says her titular character in The Mummy is the “definition of a feminist.” It’s been a great summer so far for movies about female empowerment, with not only Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) kicking intergalactic butt in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but Diana Princess of Themyscira (Gal Gadot) finally showing her full potential in the first-ever Wonder Woman solo movie.
Opening this week is The Mummy, starring Boutella, who unlike Saldana, Gillan and Gadot, is portraying a character originally conceived as a male. The Mummy, of course, is one of the classic characters from Universal Pictures, originated by the legendary Boris Karloff in 1932 film of the same name. But in the new reboot of The Mummy, directed Alex Kurtzman, the title character is born Princess Ahmanet, who is cursed and buried in a sarcophagus after the murders of her pharaoh father and younger brother.
Making the role her own, Boutella tells USA Today how much she is reveling in the gender switch-up of the title character, saying, “I love that they gave this to a woman. Ahmanet is the definition of a feminist: strong, powerful and opinionated.”
Perhaps the person Ahamet wields the most power over in The Mummy is Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), a soldier of fortune who becomes cursed after he unearths the princess’ sarcophagus 5,000 years after she was entombed. One of the ways Ahmanet establishes dominance over Morton comes with a simple, yet unconventional move: a lick to the cheek. Boutella says:
“It’s destabilizing. It comes out of nowhere. That’s how Ahmanet treats things. She owns stuff. She owns people. We did it maybe eight times, all on his cheek. And I’d try to drag it as long as possible.”
The Mummy, of course, kicks off Universal’s new Dark Universe, where the studio is reviving several of its classic monsters from yesteryear including The Bride of Frankenstein (which will almost certainly include Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster), The Invisible Man (starring Johnny Depp), The Wolfman, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. The Dark Universe will be connected by The Mummy character Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde (Russell Crowe).
Next up in the Dark Universe will be director Bill Condon’s The Bride of Frankenstein, which is pegged for a February 14, 2019, release. Angelina Jolie (who has kicked a butt or two in past movies) is reportedly the first choice for the role, which will undoubtedly be expanded from the iconic scene she appeared in at the conclusion of director James Whale’s monster movie classic. No matter if its Jolie or another actress, given the formidable presence of The Bride in the 1935 classic, it’s pretty safe to say that Universal is pretty intent on delivering more “strong, powerful and opinionated” characters to modern monster movie fans as the Dark Universe continues to unfold.
Source: USA Today