The long discussed revamp of the Universal Monsters universe is finally taking shape, as their rebooted The Mummy pic has been given a new date of July 9, 2017 (in the US). This puts the film in the crosshairs of the final Divergent series movie Ascendant, and also World War Z 2. Even though this was just announced, unless one of the other movies is shifted, expect Universal to blink and move this one out of the way again.

Another weird element of this news is the quiet confirmation of what has been circulating for months (and we reported back in November), that Tom Cruise is indeed set to start in the Alex Kurtzman directed film. As Collider reports, Cruise will be playing a new character, an ex-Navy Seal, and he joins previously cast Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), playing the gender swapped role of the titular Mummy. The assumption is that Cruise’s character could then show up in subsequent monster movies that are planned. I think Cruise is a good choice to reboot the franchise, he needs a hit after the poor performance of Oblivion and Edge Of Tomorrow (even though it was brilliant), and the dude can run like nobody’s business, so the new Mummy has her work cut out for her.

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Universal has been high on creating their own Marvel Universe equivalent with some of their properties for a while, and it’s good to see the first piece of the puzzle finally laid down. As a fan of the original Mummy, and still reeling from the godawful Mummy 3: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor, I’m hesitant to get excited about this movie, or indeed the Monster universe as a whole. The characters are legendary, but the recent efforts to bring them to life have been campy at best (Van Helsing), and just plain terrible at worst (The Wolfman). Kurtzman is also a question mark. Although he’s a prolific writer (Star Trek, Transformers), he only has one previous feature on his directing resume, the Chris Pine drama People Like Us. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of it either. Doesn’t really fill you with confidence, does it?

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I guess we’ll see more when the marketing machine kicks in and we get a look at some vision. With the right tone and put together well, The Mummy could be a great start for the Monsters Universe. Here’s hoping.

THE MUMMY is scheduled for release in the US on July 9, 2017, with an Australian release planned probably around the same time.

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