Universal’s rebooted Monsters Universe is continuing its quest to rack up a cast of A-list talent, and Russell Crowe is the latest name on the roster. Deadline reports the Crowe is in early talks to take on the iconic characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the ambitious and brilliant doctor seeking to purify his good side and the monstrous dark half he creates in the process. If the deal goes through, Crowe will cameo in The Mummy as Robert Louis Stevenson‘s tormented transformative doctor in the hopes of spinning the character into his own franchise.
The Mummy is already filming in London with Tom Cruise in the lead. While Universal hasn’t offered up any official plot or character descriptions yet, word is that Cruise plays an ex-special forces op thrust into the world of monsters. Annabelle Wallis co-stars as a scientist alongside Sofia Boutella as the titular monster, and Jake Johnson as a military man. According to Variety‘s Justin Kroll, Universal looked at Tom Hardy, Eddie Redmayne and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the role before landing on Crowe…for the moment, at least. Talks are said to be very early, so stay tuned.
As for their other creature creations, Johnny Depp is reportedly set to take on the role of The Invisible Man with Angeline Jolie courted for the role of Frankenstein’s Bride. Basically, Universal is trying to lineup a formidable force of legit movie stars to lead their burgeoning shared universe.
Compared to the juggernaut that was 2015, which boasted a tremendous amount box office-breaking hits for the studio (Jurassic World, Furious 7, Fifty Shades of Grey, Straight Outta Compton) this year has been kind of a slow-burn year for Universal. But expect them to roar back on the scene in 2017 with major franchise sequels Fast 8, Despicable Me 3 and Fifty Shades Darker, and the launch of their Monsters Universe. The Mummy is set to arrive in theaters June 9, 2017 with two untitled monsters pics planned to follow on April 13, 2018 and February 15, 2019.
For now, you can get your Russell Crowe fix with Shane Black‘s The Nice Guys, which arrives in theaters later this month, and get your Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde fix on Penny Dreadful, which introduced the doctor and his madman to the monstrous menagerie in last weekend’s Season 3 premiere.