As news of The Mummy emerged in the last year, it was said on multiple occasions that the Universal Monsters were being given the “Marvel Universe” treatment: vehicles for each character amalgamating in one monster-entourage epic. As it stands, Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman is marked to produce the majority of them while having directed this one.
The 2017 incarnation of The Mummy follows the awakening of an ancient Egyptian princess, Ahmanet, hell-bent on universal destruction. Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is sent to stop her from destroying the world in this large scale adaption of the original property’s title.
The original 1932 The Mummy, by Karl Freund (Director of 1935’s Mad Love and Cinematographer of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis) with Boris Karloff (World wide legend of movies, star of 1931’s Frankenstein) followed archaeologists accidentally resurrecting an ancient mummy, Imhotep, looking for his love thinking she’s reincarnated in a modern woman.
Sequels followed turning The Mummy into an early incarnation of slasher films, killing the villain off and bringing him back for a sequel, replacing Karloff with Lon Chaney Jr. Incarnations never seized as Hammer took it upon themselves to give The Mummy their star treatment.
The idea of The Mummy as an action movie hit in 1999 with the Brendan Fraser-led blockbuster and its sequel, The Mummy Returns (2001). Even as an Indiana Jones-influenced period adventure flick, it’s a great romp of that era’s effects, genuine enjoyment and adrenaline with one-liners and goofy mummy-kills. Most of all it retained the level of horror necessary for an apt adaptation, pushing mythology in imaginative directions.
After a road map accumulated over 84 years of possible places to go with a new Mummy movie, it looks as if the World War Z movie was the template, completed by a plane-crash sequence and global destruction. The amount of wasted opportunity is grandiose; especially when even outside the films leading up to it, the source material is endless, from the actual history of Egyptian mummification, to the different types of preservation from Egyptian History, King Tut, Ramesses II, Sicilian Mummies, Bog Bodies, and even horror-master Anne Rice’s novel, The Mummy or Ramses the Damned (1989).
Though hope isn’t too astray as Alex Kurtzman’s filmography as writer and producer puts forth a good foot with the modern Star Trek franchise and Xena: Warrior Princess. Co-writers Christopher McQuarry (1995’s The Usual Suspects and various fan-renowned Tom Cruise vehicles) and Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange and Prometheus) also provide something to hold onto.
The Mummy arrives June 9, 2017.