Universal, it seems, have some ambitious plans in their future. With the announcement that the studio is looking to create a “cinematic universe” from several of their iconic horror legends, Universal have been approaching some big Hollywood names to make their plans come true. The latest star to be linked with one of their franchises is Tom Cruise, and it’s been revealed that the two parties are in talks to bring Cruise on board for their reboot of The Mummy.
On the same day that saw rumors linking Angelina Jolie to The Bride of Frankenstein reboot — as reported earlier today on the Inquisitr — news broke that Mission: Impossible actor Tom Cruise is in talks with Universal to bring The Mummy back to the big screen. Variety has claimed that Cruise will lead the reimagining of the iconic horror flick, with Universal aiming to entice a younger generation of horror fans into their world. This is hot on the news that Universal is planning a “cinematic universe” based on its rights to several classic horror characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Wolfman, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Cruise and Jolie are just two of the names mooted to be involved — if either comes to fruition, Universal could have several lucrative franchises on their hands.
As revealed by Cinema Blend, Universal met with Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan last summer to help make this “cinematic universe” a reality, and it now seems the development is well under way on several projects. As for The Mummy, Cruise isn’t involved in the production side — although there’s time for this to change — but he will be heavily involved in the creative process, which is the norm for his recent movies. Kurtzman is expected to direct The Mummy, and will produce alongside Morgan and Sean Daniel. Jon Spaihts will pen the script, but plot details are extremely vague at present. The only information released is that the film will take place in the present day, unlike the previous installments. As for casting, Universal are remaining tight-lipped — for now.
Cruise has a busy slate at the moment, with the actor currently shooting on Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. He will be reuniting with Doug Liman on space adventure Luna Park in due course, but with Liman now helming Gambit in the spring, Cruise has an opening before Mission: Impossible 6, which begins filming in August 2016. If Universal can schedule it right, they may just get their man.
The first reboot of The Mummy was released in 1999, with Brendan Fraser assuming the lead role. The film was popular enough to gross $415.9 million at the box office. The Mummy Returns followed in 2001, and again grossed decently with $433 million, which led to a spin-off in 2002, The Scorpion King. The film starred wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson, fresh off his smack-talking, eyebrow-raising career with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was received poorly by critics. In 2008, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was released to negative reviews, despite grossing $401 million, and the franchise, much like the character of the title, has remained buried since.
However, the reputation of the franchise really stems back to the classic original in 1932. Directed by Karl Freund and starring the enigmatic Boris Karloff — who practically invented the face of horror back in the ’30s — the film is regularly cited as a classic piece of horror royalty. If the reboot can capture the magic and terror of the original — something the previous reboots failed to do — then Universal may be on to a winner.
Remember, they plan to have their creatures cross-over between films, so this opens up a world of possibilities. With Cruise known for performing his own stunts, as well as his professional approach, not to mention his knack for leading franchises to consistently massive box-office, expect the buzz of this film to reach epic proportions in the coming months.
The Mummy is aiming for a resurrection in the U.K. and U.S. on March 24, 2017.
[Image via Ian Gavan/Getty Images]