ByTom Bacon, writer at
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There's no accounting for taste. Alex Kurtzman's remake of The Mummy looks frankly thrilling, but there are two words I never expected to be used to describe it: "Inspiring and seductive." Yet that, apparently, is Tom Cruise's reaction to the idea of a female Mummy!

That's surely one of the more amusing takeaways from an exclusive sneak-peak behind the scenes of The Mummy, due out June 9th. But what else do we learn about the film?

A Smart Inversion Of The Curse Of The Mummy

In 1922, Howard Carter discovered the Tomb of King Tutankhamun in Egypt. The discovery thrilled the world, inspiring a global passion for the study of Egyptology. It also popularized something far more sinister: the legend of the Mummy's Curse.

It's likely that the ancient Egyptians did believe in some sort of superstition surrounding the bodies of the Mummies they entombed; Egyptologists have found some mastaba — early non-pyramid tombs — that are inscribed with ominous curses. Fast-forward to the nineteenth century, and the dawning days of Egyptology, where popular stage shows inspired writers to craft stories of mummy revenge. Even Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, toyed with the idea in her novel Lost in a Pyramid.

Alex Kurtzman may be reinventing the traditional monster story for the modern age, but it looks as though he's also willing to invert the legends. After all, one of the first clips in this sneak peak is of a man who's mysteriously survived a plane crash — because of the precious, mystical cargo he carries.

Building A Monster Universe

Russell Crowe's Doctor Jekkyl. [Credit: Universal]

Of course, The Mummy is just the start of Universal's "Monster Universe," a shared cinematic universe clearly inspired by Marvel's success. We're expecting The Mummy to be joined by films starring creatures as diverse as the Invisible Man and the Creature from the Black Lagoon!

So it's no surprise that the sneak peak devotes a great deal of time to giving a sense of just how this shared universe will work. It introduces us to Russell Crowe's Doctor Jekkyl, the scientist who runs Prodigium. A secret organization that deals with the mysterious monster threats — they're clearly the S.H.I.E.L.D. of the Monster Universe — will serve as the connective tissue between the films.

Tom Cruise's Nick Morton. [Credit: Universal]

At the same time, though, Prodigium seems to be an organic, essential part of the story. Kurtzman explained to us in late 2016:

"There was a lot of debate about whether or not to put Dr. Jekyll in the movie, because the minute [we] say 'it's The Mummy but then Dr. Jekyll's in it,' you guys are all going to say, 'You're trying to sell me on a shared universe.' We wanted there to be an organization that was cataloging [monsters], following them, collecting them, determining the good ones from the bad ones — the keeper of that secret history."

The Thrilling Potential Of The Monsters