First birthed by Boris Karloff in 1932, Universal’s The Mummy has been dug up and re-bandaged by everyone from Abbot and Costello to Brendan Fraser – remember him? Good, because his agent probably doesn’t – in the most of the eight decades since.
This summer, though, he is about to get his most radical reimagining ever, and not just because he is actually now a she. To explain: Alex Kurtzman’s summer blockbuster stars Sofia Boutella (she of the razor-blade legs in Kingsman: The Secret Service) as the centuries-old, four-eyeballed force dug up and unleashed by a bunch of tomb raiders headed up by Tom Cruise’s Nick Morton.
There is, frankly, much riding on the production. Where Disney has its Star Wars and Marvel universes and Warners has its DC one, this movie represents the very first in what Universal is hoping will become its new Monster-verse, hence Russell Crowe appearing here, in a cute bit of cross-pollination, as Dr Henry Jekyll.
Get this one right and we can expect the studio to dust off its other iconic horror character properties of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and Dracula, for all sorts of mega-budget, shared-universe histrionics. Get it wrong and, well, they won’t.
Still, all the early signs look very promising indeed, with Cruise – presently on his most purple patch since the late ‘80s – on top action-man form, some seriously high-end computer effects (check out the trailer to see the huge-scale destruction this Mummy can wreak) and, importantly, some good old-fashioned practical ones, too. Not least a stunning Zero G plummeting plane sequence that the key cast actually shot for real, at Cruise’s instance of course, miles above the skies of Bordeaux.
Consider us first in line.
The Mummy will hit screens across Doha in early June