'The Mummy,' Starring Tom Cruise, Has Begun Filming

Consider it another Hollywood makeover. The Mummy is getting another reboot and may be one more sign that Tinsel Town has run out of ideas. Be that as it may, Coming Soon has reported that Universal Pictures has begun filming the new version in Oxford, England, and the end product could look very different from the mummy films of the past.

The new monster movie will star Tom Cruise as a modern-day special forces soldier and, surprisingly, Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) will serve as the title role of the mummy. The film also stars Annabelle Wallis who is rumored to be playing either a scientist or an archaeologist, and scriptwriter Jon Spaihts has written a role specifically for Jake Johnson (Jurassic World) to be used as comedy relief.

Though the new Mummy movie is being directed by Alex Kurtzman, fans will be glad to learn that Sean Daniel, who worked on the more recent Mummy movies, is producing the film along with Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious).

The new flick is another attempt for Universal to breathe new life into their classic monster characters. The Mummy reboot will be part of the company's shared Monsters Universe series that had started with 2014's Dracula Untold. The vampire film didn't do well with critics and audiences alike, but the ending scene did bring the big baddie to modern times, which is the concept for Monster Universe: bringing back the classic monsters and giving them a modern touch. The modern touch extends with Boutella playing the studio's first ever female mummy. No longer are women to be used as helpless, screaming women in the films. Now they can be monsters, too.

Universal is already planning several other monster movies to follow The Mummy, including a new version of The Invisible Man that will star Johnny Depp. Other reboot projects include stories about Van Helsing, The Bride of Frankenstein, and The Wolfman. It will be interesting to see if these will all be stand-alone films or if there will be some crossover like the current slate of comic book hero movies.

The new action adventure Mummy film is also said to have more horror elements than the 1999 version that starred Brendan Fraser, which is closer to the original storyline.

The 1932 Boris Karloff version of The Mummy was inspired by the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922. This is the version most people are familiar with, even if they haven't seen the whole movie. Up until this new film, Universal has always had a male mummy. However, the very first woman to play a mummy was shown in the 1911 silent film The Mummy. The fifteen-minute black-and-white movie starred William Garwood and Harry Benham, and featured a beautifully preserved princess who came to life when the figure made contact with a live electrical wire. Perhaps the new movie will follow a similar storyline?

Boris Karloff's Mummy was a lot less glamorous. Make-up artists would start preparing to transform Karloff at 11:00 a.m. by wrapping cotton wraps around his face secured with spirit gum and applying clay to his hair. The whole process wasn't complete until 7:00 p.m. that night. The actor filmed his scenes until 2:00 a.m. and then underwent two hours of removing the costume and make-up. Fortunately for the actor, he didn't have to endure the painful process for long. Most scenes in the finished film show him with less involved make-up.

Tom Cruise's Mummy movie has a release date of June 9, 2017. Ironically, the film will go against another monster film, the Brad Pitt sequel World War Z 2, opening on the same day.

[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]