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Universal is going old school with a return to its classic movie monster roots

The pro­duc­tion company’s Don­na Lan­g­ley is hell­bent on revi­tal­iz­ing the studio’s lega­cy and is behind a The Mum­my reboot with Tom Cruise and Rus­sell Crowe star­ring, as well as The Invis­i­ble Man reboot with John­ny Depp por­tray­ing the tit­u­lar char­ac­ter. There’s also talk of anoth­er new, as yet unan­nounced clas­sic hor­ror reimag­in­ing (per­haps Drac­u­la or Bride of Franken­stein) com­ing 2019.

Here’s the scoop: Uni­ver­sal is start­ing a new cin­e­mat­ic uni­verse of hor­ror with The Mum­my being the first clas­sic film to be reboot­ed. Dead­line revealed that Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios has two new unti­tled mon­ster movies com­ing out, both by Alex Kurtz­man and Chris Mor­gan. One of these films is set for a President’s Day Feb­ru­ary 15th, 2019 release. The oth­er is sched­uled for an April 13th, 2018 release.

The Mummy

As we men­tioned, first on the agen­da from Uni­ver­sal and Alex Kurtz­man is The Mum­my reboot. Kurtz­man will direct and pro­duce this reboot, along­side Chris Mor­gan (The Fast & The Furi­ous series) and Sean Daniel (pro­duc­er of the 1999 Stephen Som­mers remake of The Mum­my and the two sequels). The new film will be writ­ten by Jon Spai­hts (Prometheus, The Dark­est Hour, and the upcom­ing Doc­tor Strange).

Tom Cruise to Start in The Mummy Remake

The reboot is set for release on June 9th, 2017. It’s said that this ver­sion will be dif­fer­ent from the clas­sic tril­o­gy, offer­ing a new take on the mythol­o­gy and set in present day. Tom Cruise will be play­ing a Navy Seal fight­ing the mum­my in the Iraqi desert, while Rus­sell Crowe will play the tor­ment­ed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Crowe spoke out after his role was announced, bold­ly exclaim­ing, “This one is designed to seri­ous­ly scare the shit out of you!” He then con­tin­ued to express his love of work­ing with direc­tor Alex Kurtz­man. “It’s very inter­est­ing, what they’re gonna do with that stuff,” said Crowe, speak­ing of the film­mak­ers’ vision for the film and the intent to take the fran­chise in a new direc­tion. “I’ve had a cou­ple of chats about it with the direc­tor.”

Crowe went on to joke about his rela­tion­ship with Cruise. “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].”

Uni­ver­sal hopes Crowe’s role will be so “stand­out” that he’ll be will­ing to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for a cou­ple more years. There’s even talk of a spin-off fran­chise star­ring Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with Crowe in the star­ring role.

Here’s the offi­cial plot syn­op­sis for The Mum­my reboot:

Though 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 a mil­len­ni­um 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.

Film­ing for The Mum­my will take place in Lon­don. In addi­tion to Cruise and Crowe, the movie will star Annabelle Wal­lis (Annabelle), Sofia Boutel­la (Kings­man: The Secret Ser­vice), Jake John­son (Juras­sic World), and Court­ney B. Vance (Amer­i­can Crime Sto­ry).

The Invisible Man

Adding to Universal’s return to its clas­sic roots, The Invis­i­ble Man is also get­ting reboot­ed, with John­ny Depp in the lead role. Alex Kurtz­man and Chris Mor­gan are set to pro­duce this film as well. The ver­sa­tile and the­atri­cal Depp seems well suit­ed for the icon­ic role made famous by the great Claude Rains in the orig­i­nal 1933 ver­sion of the film.

Johnny Depp to Star in The Invisible Man Remake

The orig­i­nal film, based on H.G. Wells’ sci­ence fic­tion nov­el of the same name, fea­tured Rains as a sci­en­tist who dis­cov­ers a for­mu­la to make him­self invis­i­ble. After tak­ing the for­mu­la, he goes insane and embarks on a mur­der­ous ram­page before being stopped by the police.

Sim­i­lar rein­ter­pre­ta­tions of H.G. Wells’ clas­sic tale have graced the big screen through­out the years, though none have received much crit­i­cal favor. John Carpenter’s 1992 film Mem­oirs of an Invis­i­ble Man, star­ring Chevy Chase, and Paul Verhoeven’s Hol­low Man, the 2000 film star­ring Kevin Bacon, were both uni­ver­sal­ly panned. The ques­tion on everyone’s mind is whether Uni­ver­sal can return the char­ac­ter to its glo­ry days with this remake attempt.

The new film will report­ed­ly be writ­ten by Ed Solomon (Men in Black). How­ev­er, no direc­tor is cur­rent­ly attached to the film. Addi­tion­al­ly, we don’t yet have any details regard­ing the plot of the film or how much it may or may not devi­ate from the orig­i­nal. We also don’t know when the stu­dio plans to release its new vision of The Invis­i­ble Man. Nev­er­the­less, the studio’s abil­i­ty to secure two of the biggest names in Hol­ly­wood for its upcom­ing reboots def­i­nite­ly has cinephiles and hor­ror fans buzzing. We’ll con­tin­ue to update you as more details become avail­able.

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