Earlier this week, Russell Crowe was rumored for a role in Universal’s star-studded take on The Mummy, and during press rounds for The Nice Guys, the actor has confirmed that he is in fact involved, playing none other than Dr. Henry Jekyll.
Speaking with Collider, the actor cracked wise about collaborating with star Tom Cruise on the blockbuster venture, to be directed by Alex Kurtzman, all the while voicing his excitement for the project, which he says is “designed to seriously scare the shit out of you:”
Question: Are you officially doing The Mummy?
CROWE: Yeah, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna play Dr. Henry Jekyll, Fellow of the Royal Society. It’s very interesting, what they’re gonna do with that stuff. I’ve had a couple of chats about it with the director (Alex Kurtzman). I’ve known Tom Cruise since 1992, or something like that. When he was married to an Australian, I was really good friends with him. But when he got divorced, I was part of the settlement package, and I went to Nicole [Kidman].
Question: Are you confident in what Alex Kurtzman is going to do?
CROWE: Yeah. He really understands the world and he’s been around a long time, on a lot of big projects. He knows how to get something from an idea on the page onto a soundstage and into a camera. Sure, I would imagine he’s scared shitless right about now, and having a hard time sleeping because he’s got ten million things on his mind right now. But when we started talking about this idea, there were a few things I put up in the air and he picked up on them. Those kinds of creative collaborative conversations, if they’re explosive like that from the first time you start talking, and somebody says something that goes off in your mind and that bumps up something that you say and that other person bounces off of that, you’re actually in a really good place. How they’ve pulled all of this stuff forward into a contemporary world and how they’re building it out from there, and how all of the different character interweave into each other’s stories, it’s fantastic.
Whether Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll will occupy a Nick Fury-esque role in The Mummy or have a more substantial part remains to be seen (it seems like he’s at the very least being teased here ahead of his own potential spinoff), but it’s of course exciting to envision Crowe and Cruise teaming up on the big screen (believe it or not, the two veteran actors have never crossed paths on screen before). And if Kurtzman can direct it as a true horror film, tapping into the atmosphere of mystery and fear that’s made the Mummy such an enduring horror villain, there’s good reason to be excited about this picture.
Kingsman breakout Sofia Boutella is taking on the role of the titular, bandage-swathed baddie, an ancient queen reawakened in modern times with some serious bones to pick. Cruise’s Navy SEAL is hunting terrorists when he comes across the monster and (of course) incurs some of her wrath. Annabelle Wallis, Courtney B. Vance, and Jake Johnson also star.
The Mummy is primed to launch the Universal Monsters franchise on June 9, 2017.