Russell Crowe in Early Talks for Universal’s The Mummy Reboot

Universal’s The Mummy is adding a touch of Oscar gold to its wrappings as Deadline reports that Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Man of Steel) is in early talks to join the cast of Universal’s The Mummy reboot. The trade describes his part as “a Jekyll-like role,” but whether that means he will literally be playing Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde (a potential spin-off worthy character) is unknown at this time. Production is currently underway in London.

Meanwhile, reporters from both Variety and Heat Vision are Tweeting that Tom Hardy was very close to signing on before the deal fell apart, and that the studio was also looking at Javier Bardem, Eddie Redmayne and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the role before settling on Crowe. With that caliber of actor being approached, it seems likely this part will be a major, continuing one in their interconnected Monster Universe.

Tom Cruise stars in the June 9, 2017 release along with Annabelle Wallis (Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, Annabelle), Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), who is playing the title monster in the film, Jake Johnson (Jurassic World) and Courtney B. Vance (“American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson”). The storyline is expected to be set in modern day with Cruise’s character to be a special forces soldier.

The Mummy is directed by Alex Kurtzman, who also produces alongside Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious series, Wanted) and Sean Daniel (The Mummy trilogy, The Best Man series). Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) wrote the screenplay, and Bobby Cohen executive produces. It’s being planned as the first film in the Universal Monster cinematic universe with plans for The Wolfman, The Invisible ManBride of Frankenstein, and Van Helsing all in various stages of development.

The original monster was made famous on the big screen by Boris Karloff in Karl Freund’s 1932 feature. Subsequent sequels to the original The Mummy saw Tom Tyler (who played Captain Marvel/Shazam in the original 1941 serials) and later Lon Chaney Jr. playing a different mummy than the one Karloff played. Stephen Sommers’ more recent The Mummy and The Mummy Returns films set Arnold Vosloo in the title role. Jet Li then played the villain in Rob Cohen’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

Crowe will next be seen on May 20 in Shane Black’s comedy-noir The Nice Guys opposite Ryan Gosling.

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