The Mummy is a 2017 American fantasy action-adventure film directed by Alex Kurtzman and written by David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dylan Kussman, with a story by Kurtzman, Jon Spaihts, and Jenny Lumet. A reboot of the Mummy franchise as part of Universal’s scrapped Dark Universe, it stars Tom Cruise as U.S. Army Sergeant Nick Morton, a soldier of fortune who accidentally unearths the ancient tomb of entrapped Egyptian princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, and Russell Crowe also star.
The Mummy premiered at the State Theatre in Sydney, Australia, on May 22, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 9, 2017. It received generally negative reviews from critics, who deemed it inferior to Brendan Fraser’s films. The film grossed $410 million worldwide, losing as much as $95 million due to high production and marketing costs. Intended to kick-start the Dark Universe, a modern cinematic universe concept based on the classic Universal Monsters film series, the film’s poor box office performance led to the cancellation of the shared universe.
Ahead of the summer release of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Maria Bello was hopeful that a fourth entry in the series would be made. Series newcomer Luke Ford was signed on for three films. The film, entitled The Mummy: Rise of the Aztecs, was to be set in South America and would have seen Antonio Banderas portray the villain. Rob Cohen was interested in directing a future installment while Brendan Fraser and John Hannah were supposedly on board. Plans for the fourth film came to halt in April 2012 when Universal Pictures opted to reboot the series.
Jon Spaihts, known for his work on the Alien prequel Prometheus, was writing the film, while Sean Daniel would act as producer. Spaihts hoped to take the franchise back to its horror roots and “simultaneously open it up to an epic scale we haven’t seen before”. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci became involved with the project shortly thereafter; signing a two year deal with the studio to produce The Mummy as well as a “reimagining” of Van Helsing. Len Wiseman was selected to direct the film in September 2012 due to his work on Underworld. Wiseman aimed for a contemporary setting and to make something “entirely different” than the Fraser-led films, while Kurtzman indicated that while The Mummy would still fall into the “four-quadrant audience zone”, the film would have a darker tone. The works of Michael Crichton were also cited as an influence on the reboot. Universal anticipated a 2014 release. The studio was keen on having production underway in 2013. State of Play screenwriter Billy Ray was contracted to pen a competing draft as a contingency plan should Spaihts’ draft fail to satisfy. Universal also prepared to combine the “best of” both scripts if neither were up to par. Wiseman would fall off the project in July 2013 in order to focus on Sleepy Hollow. Despite the setback, the project was still a high priority for Universal and was still moving “full-speed ahead”.
The studio quickly began searching for a replacement the following month, with Andy Muschietti emerging as the front-runner in September. Spaihts remained attached while an April 2016 release date was slotted in November. Spaihts would later be joined by Kurtzman and Orci for subsequent drafts. Muschietti’s involvement would not last much longer however, with the Mama filmmaker exiting the project in May 2014. Muschietti intended to follow the previously established darker tone, but a newer family friendly action adventure-approach was favored by the producers, leading to his departure.
- Tom Cruise as Nick Morton, a U.S. Army sergeant
- Annabelle Wallis as Jennifer “Jenny” Halsey, a British archaeologist
- Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet, the title character. She is loosely based on Imhotep from the original Mummy films, as well as the ancient Egyptian goddess Amunet.
- Jake Johnson as Chris Vail, Nick’s friend and closest ally
- Courtney B. Vance as Colonel Greenway, Nick and Chris’s superior officer
- Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll / Edward “Eddie” Hyde
- Marwan Kenzari as Malik, Jekyll’s chief of security and a member of Prodigium.
- Javier Botet as Set, the ancient Egyptian god of death
June 9, 2017
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