Tom Cruise can’t stop, won’t stop. The action star incarnate recently wrapped on his drug-smuggling thriller Mena before heading directly into production on Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Cruise was looking to squeeze in Doug Liman‘s long-in-development moon heist film Luna Park next spring before heading off to film Mission: Impossible 6 in August, but now that Liman has been swooped up for Gambit, Cruise was left with a hole in his schedule. Obviously, he wasn’t just going to take a vacation like some plebeian, so now he’s lining up another massive studio project — and potential franchise starter — with Universal’s The Mummy reboot.
Variety reports that Cruise is in talks to lead The Mummy, but there are currently no details regarding what his is (though a follow-up tweet suggests he will play an ex-Navy Seal facing a female mummy)…presumably not the mummy because the undead just aren’t super good at running. Alex Kurtzman, who played a major role in developing Universal’s new monster universe alongside Chris Morgan, is on board to direct and produce. No details are known about the story at this point, but Jon Spaights is writing the script, which will take place in the modern day.
Cruise is an unexpected choice to headline the new monster universe, indicating a very A-list, action-heavy approach to the material. It’s long been known that Universal is looking to turn the monsters reboot into an Avengers-style shared universe, but the tone of the new universe hasn’t been totally clear. There was a loud outcry when word went around that the monsters would lose their horror roots in lieu of an action-based based approach, but when I asked Kurtzman his thoughts back in July, he asserted that they would be a horror-adventure hybrid. Putting Cruise in a key role definitely indicates that The Mummy will be firmly planted in the action world, but the actor seems to have an interest in the classic monsters and was previously attached to star in a Van Helsing reboot (also with Kurtzman).
Cruise is not currently expected to produce, but the report states that he will play a major role in developing the new franchise, and is expected to play not only a major role in The Mummy, but the larger shared universe. I’ll be curious to see if Christopher McQuarrie, who regularly does re-writes and polishes on Cruise’s scripts, ends up in the mix on this one.
What do you guys think? Do you want to see Cruise go toe-to-toe with a mummy? Does this feel like the direction you’d like to see the new monster universe headed? Sound off in the comments below.
UPDATE: Deadline reports that both Universal and Tom Cruise’s representatives have “adamantly” denied that there is a deal in the works. However, it’s worth noting that THR also reported Universal is eyeing Cruise in an anchor role for the film. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.