The Mummy movie we're getting next year isn't your usual remake. For starters, it's actually part of a wider monster cinematic universe Universal has planned with the help of director Alex Kurtzman. If you're anything like me, you're thinking it's going to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe for monsters. And while this might not be far from the truth, don't make the mistake of thinking everyone's copying Marvel. If you do, Alex will set you straight.
I sat down with the director last week to talk about The Mummy's first trailer (opens in new tab) and more, and he was pretty clear about drawing comparisons with the MCU. "Actually, if you go back to the origins of a shared universe, the monsters were the first to do it," he said. "It started with Frankenstein Meets Wolfman."
"That happened because they had done all these Frankenstein movies, and they had sort of run out of steam and said, ‘What are we going to do now?’ They had done all these Wolfman movies, and they were running out of steam. They said, ‘What are we going to do now?’ And they said, ‘Wait! We should just put these two characters together.’
"And from that, the first shared universe was born. It started not only cross-pollinating the monsters into each other’s movies, but then there was Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein and Abbott and Costello Meets the Mummy. That was the first true shared universe."
Creating a shared cinematic universe isn't easy (just ask Warner Bros.), but Alex is taking tips from the original when it comes to his.
"I have a huge respect for the Marvel universe, and I think they’ve done pretty much everything right. But they follow the same rules that the monsters followed when the monsters started, which was; great individual stories – and if that works, then we can bring everybody together."
"That’s something I’m excited for, as opposed to something I feel like you’re trying to hand me – to build a universe, just so I can see more movies. That’s how I react to those things. Like I said – unbelievable respect for the Marvel guys; I think they’re brilliant - but they were not the first ones to do it."
Excuse me while I go and watch Frankenstein Meets Wolfman...
Directed by Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, and Courtney B. Vance, The Mummy hits US and UK cinemas on June 9, 2017.