Earlier this week, Universal unleashed the first trailer for the studio's highly-anticipated reboot of The Mummy, which featured our first look at the new monster in action, played by Sofia Boutella. The actress is the first ever female Mummy in the franchise's storied history, but as it turns out, this gender swap almost never happened. Director Alex Kurtzman revealed in a new interview that he was initially planning on making The Mummy a male character. Here's what he had to say.
"I'll let you in on a secret. There was a moment when I had sort of rendered a design that I liked for a male version of The Mummy. And in that version of The Mummy, the Mummy had been born with a skin pigmentation that at the time would have made him really sort of an outcast. And I thought it was an interesting backstory, because it began to tell the story of someone who had been bullied, which I found topical. I was reaching for a way to make the Mummy a character who is relatable, understandable, and that spoke to issues that we're dealing with now."
Almost exactly one year ago today, Sofia Boutella, who had a breakout role in Kingsman: The Secret Service and also starred in this year's Star Trek Beyond, entered talks to play the title character, thanks to Alex Kurtzman changing his mind about the Mummy's gender. The director continued in his new interview with CinemaBlend, that this change was made after he saw the post-credit scene in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past. Here's what the director said about why he changed The Mummy from a male to a female.
"I was going down that road, and then I saw the end of Days of Future Past. And they had the character that Oscar Isaac wound up playing as a boy, and it was, I kid you not, the exact same design. And I was like, 'Oh, man! That is not good!' And actually it was the catalyst [...] I had had that voice in my head for some time to make it a woman, and that was the moment where, the minute I saw that post-credits scene, I went, 'We have to start over.'"
Thought safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient queen (Sofia Boutella) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her, is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension. From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.
Tom Cruise leads a diverse cast of The Mummy that also includes Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Javier Botet, Chico Kenzari, Shihoko Nagai and Solomon Taiwo Justified. Alex Kurtzman directs The Mummy from a script by Christopher McQuarrie and Jon Spaihts, with the director also producing alongside Chris Morgan. Both Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan are overseeing the entire Universal monster franchise, which will include new versions of The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein and more.