It may not have burst into life with the electrifying energy of Marvel’s cinematic universe, or teed up the grand DC Extended Universe by forcing two superhero icons into battle with one another, but make no mistake, Universal’s shared monster universe is coming together – slowly, but surely.
Just today, set photos from Alex Kurtzman’s high-profile redo of The Mummy showcased Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Star Trek Beyond) in costume as the titular, all-powerful being. Keeping that momentum burning bright, Variety is reporting that Javier Bardem is closing in on the role of Frankenstein in Universal’s budding new franchise.
Granted, the studio didn’t disclose an official statement on the matter, so this is far from being a done deal. What’s interesting, though, is that Bardem was initially attached to the Dr. Jekyll role in The Mummy, before ultimately passing on the gig, opening up the door for The Nice Guys star Russell Crowe.
Should a deal place, Bardem, who is among the ensemble for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, will likely make his debut as the grotesque creation in another monster movie before toplining his own spinoff. Given that Kurtzman is close to wrapping up principal photography on The Mummy, Variety’s report leads us to believe that Universal will hold fire on Bardem’s introduction as Frankenstein until a later date. We’ll be keeping tabs on this one as the story develops.
As for The Mummy, Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe and Boutella are part of the starry ensemble for Kurtzman’s reboot, which will jump-start Universal’s grand vision on June 8, 2017.