Fans across the country were among the first to check out sneak preview screenings of The Mummy reboot last night, the first installment in Universal's Dark Universe franchise, which reboots classic horror characters from the studio's library with modern-day adventures. Universal's history with The Mummy goes all the way back to 1932, with the Boris Karloff classic that spawned numerous movies throughout the 1940s. Most fans, though, are more familiar with the most recent trilogy, which began in 1999 with The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser and a breakout performance by a talented young actress named Rachel Weisz. It seems that this new Mummy has a subtle Easter Egg that acknowledges the previous trilogy. There will be mild SPOILERS below for The Mummy, so read on at your own risk.
Last month, Universal unveiled the official Dark Universe logo, and confirmed that Johnny Depp will play The Invisible Man while Javier Bardem has signed on to play Frankenstein's monster. The studio also confirmed that this entire universe centers on a multi-national corporation known as Prodigium, which is run by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Inverse noticed that there is one particular scene, where Tom Cruise's Nick Morton is being showed around the Prodigium London headquarters, where a number of relics are on display, such as the Creature From the Black Lagoon's hand being preserved in formaldehyde, and a skull which features vampire fangs, but the Easter Egg reveal happens a bit later.
As many expected, Dr. Jekyll does in fact transform into the monstrous Eddie Hyde. Jekyll has been using a serum that he injects into his hand to keep the beast at bay, but just in case Hyde comes out, there are precautions put in place. The door automatically seals shut, and cannot be opened by Hyde, only Jekyll. Unfortunately, Nick Morton is trapped inside with Jekyll, as his partner Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) tries to do whatever she can to get him out, although it's a rather futile effort since the whole room is sealed off. At one point, Jenny gets into a scuffle with a member of Jekyll's security team, and during the melee, she takes a large book and hits him over the head with it. This is actually the Book of the Dead from the original 1999 Mummy movie
While there is only one brief shot of the book in this scene, it has the star-shaped lock as it did in the original movie. While the book certainly has no importance to the actual plot, like it did in the 1999 Mummy movie, it's clear that Prodigium has been collecting relics of this nature for quite some time. While it was released in the year 1999, the original Mummy movie was set in the year 1923, starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, while the 2001 sequel, The Mummy Returns, was set a decade later in 1933. The 2008 film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was set in 1946, shifting the action to China. It's also worth noting that Sean Daniel is producing the reboot, after producing the most recent Mummy trilogy.
Given the rich horror history with all of the other properties in this Dark Universe, it wouldn't be surprising to find Eater Eggs like this hidden throughout future installments of this sprawling franchise, that is being shepherded by The Mummy director Alex Kurtzmn and Chris Morgan. It will be interesting to see if The Mummy will be able to top its predecessor at the box office this weekend. The Brendan Fraser version of The Mummy opened with $43.3 million back in 1999, en route to a domestic haul of $155.3 million and $415.9 million worldwide, from an $80 million budget. The Mummy remake has been tracking for a similar opening weekend, although it hasn't been well-received by the nation's critics, so it remains to be seen how that affects the box office. In the meantime, take a look at a photo of the Book of the Dead from the original movie, so you'll know where to spot it in The Mummy reboot.