Universal Studios is currently working on taking a page out of Marvel Studios' book, building up a sprawling shared universe populated with established characters from their properties. Instead of superheroes, this universe will be full of the classic monsters, reimagined for modern times. The first movie out will be 2017's The Mummy reboot, which is updating the story to a modern setting as an ex-Navy SEAL has a run-in with a female mummy. The Egyptian monster will be played by Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service).
The film stars action movie veteran Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) as the former Navy SEAL, and has already lined up an impressive supporting cast with Annabelle Wallis (Peaky Blinders) and Jake Johnson (New Girl) signed on for the film. Now another actor has been added to the project - someone who has been making waves on the small screen lately.
According to Variety, Courtney B. Vance (Terminator Genisys) has joined the reboot to play an as-yet-unnamed colonel. At this stage no further information about his character has been released, and it's unknown if he will only appear in The Mummy, or if his character might appear in any of the other interrelated films scheduled to follow. Since both are playing military men it seems likely his will interact with Cruise - perhaps during his trip to Oxford, England?
Vance has been steadily acting since the 1980s, in larger films like Dangerous Minds and Space Cowboys, as well as a long run on Law & Order: Criminal Intent as A.D.A. Ron Carver and numerous other television projects. He recently garnered much critical acclaim for his mesmerizing portrayal of Johnnie Cochran on FX’s American Crime: The People v. O.J. Simpson, a project that has just completed its run.
With the film's release over a year away, we can only speculate how it will fare as the foundation for Universal's reimagined monster-verse. Adding in strong, established actors like Vance to the already impressive cast bodes well for the film's quality - though, of course, a film can be filled with quality actors and still not resonate with audiences. We'll have to wait until next summer to see if this film can be the hit Universal is hoping for.
The Mummy opens in U.S. theaters on June 9, 2017, followed by a currently-untitled Monster Movie on April 13th, 2018.