Written by Patti Pauley
Universal is kicking off the highly anticipated first installment of it’s Dark Universe this week with The Mummy starring an artifact thieving Tom Cruise up against the horrifyingly beautiful Sophia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet that will eventually bring all the beloved Universal Monsters together to a full circle with a string of films intertwining with each other. In previous reports, Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona, who makes his first strong appearance in The Mummy, serves as a window into this newly formed Dark Universe that includes Frankenstein, the Bride, and the Invisible Man in future films with newly announced plans for Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame to be included in the future.
In a press conference call earlier today with iHorror on one side of the horn with director Alex Kurtzman, the enthusiastic horror fan at heart explained more in detail Crowe’s character development for the unraveling franchise to come:
“There was a lot of conversation and debate early on about bringing Henry Jekyll into a Mummy movie; in terms of the film, we were constantly asking ourselves ‘How do we deliver something new to the table?’ And what we wanted to do was give you a satisfying Mummy movie experience on its own terms and to open the door to the Dark Universe by planting seeds without having an overwhelming narrative. We thought this was the way to go. What we don’t want to do is smash characters together just to have them together. Part of the storytelling here is that The Mummy exists in a larger world of Gods and Monsters, and it became very clear we needed an element to help understand that. Dr. Jekyll served a guide for Nick (Tom Cruise) in The Mummy in the monster-verse and will be back in many of the Monster films.”
When prompted about the upcoming chapter in Dark Universe The Invisible Man that has already cast Johnny Depp as the, what I like to call, Freddy Krueger of the Universal Monsters series with his dark humor and memorable one-liners, and if the studios intend to keep him just that way, The Mummy director and executive producer of The Invisible Man assured us exclusively this dark and scary character will keep his humorous wit about him:
“I think horror and humor work so well together and with Johnny, some of my favorite work with him is when he jumps back and forth between being very funny and also very dark. He does it so uniquely well. With the Invisible Man in particular, he’s actually such a scary character. As much as there’s humor in it, he’s essentially a scientist who has gone mad with his experiments and wants to use this newly found power, to do very destructive and terrible things. We ask ourselves, why do people love these Universal Monsters and what is it about them people embrace so much? We want to make sure we’re protecting that and not trying to reinvent to the degree that it feels like we’re betraying the audience and characters. Humor, drama, and horror work all very well together and we want to see Johnny do all of the above.”
Claude Rains agrees Mr. Kurtzman.
The Mummy opens nationwide June, 9 2017.
Featured image credit: 411Mania