There’s been plenty of talk over the last few weeks (even months) about what exactly we should be expecting from Alex Kurtzman‘s remake of The Mummy. What we do know is that it would seem to be the first serous step in the universe of Universal Movie Monsters – The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, etc. – which, apparently, officially began with the…let’s say poorly received Dracula Untold. Kurtzman’s film is already off to a better start with Tom Cruise set to star in this particular remake, alongside the likes of Jake Johnson and Courtney B. Vance.
That’s enough to allure a fan of the original films, like this writer, but the news that came down the pike yesterday seals my interest in the project. During an interview with Collider’s own Christina Radish for Shane Black‘s The Nice Guys, Russell Crowe confirmed his involvement with the project, and unveiled that he will be playing an iconic role in the film. Here’s what the veteran actor had to say:
Question: Are you officially doing The Mummy?
CROWE: Yeah, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna play Dr. Henry Jekyll, Fellow of the Royal Society. It’s very interesting, what they’re gonna do with that stuff. I’ve had a couple of chats about it with the director (Alex Kurtzman). I’ve known Tom Cruise since 1992, or something like that. When he was married to an Australian, I was really good friends with him. But when he got divorced, I was part of the settlement package, and I went to Nicole [Kidman].
This is pretty big news, as Crowe and Cruise have yet to star alongside one another in any movie thus far. And that’s not even counting the fact that Kurtzman, one of J.J. Abrams‘ top collaborators, will be helming the picture, though the multi-hyphenate’s first major work as a director, People Like Us, did not go well. Regardless, this film feels more keeping with Kurtzman’s wheelhouse and Crowe seemed very happy with what Kurtzman has planned. Here’s what the had to say about working with the popular writer-producer:
Are you confidant in what Alex Kurtzman is going to do?
CROWE: Yeah. He really understands the world and he’s been around a long time, on a lot of big projects. He knows how to get something from an idea on the page onto a soundstage and into a camera. Sure, I would imagine he’s scared shitless right about now, and having a hard time sleeping because he’s got ten million things on his mind right now. But when we started talking about this idea, there were a few things I put up in the air and he picked up on them. Those kinds of creative collaborative conversations, if they’re explosive like that from the first time you start talking, and somebody says something that goes off in your mind and that bumps up something that you say and that other person bounces off of that, you’re actually in a really good place. How they’ve pulled all of this stuff forward into a contemporary world and how they’re building it out from there, and how all of the different character interweave into each other’s stories, it’s fantastic.
And when asked about how this version of The Mummy will play out as compared to the Brendan Fraser-fronted trilogy of movies that came out in the aughts, Crowe was adamant that this film is “designed to seriously scare the shit out of you.” That would put it at odds with the last films, which were made more in the action-adventure mode, and would similarly make it unlike Dracula Untold. Even though the new Mummy is unfortunately steeped in a modern set-up – Cruise plays a Navy SEAL hunting terrorists when he comes across the monster – it already feels inevitable that it will be a more satisfying effort with Crowe involved.