Universal’s The Mummy will soon be upon us, poised to unleash its wrath of ancient magic, curses, and hopefully a lot less bloodthirsty scarabs than the Brendan Fraser version. While you wait for Sunday’s new trailer, please enjoy the new teaser above, as well as a brand-new poster featuring the terrifying Princess Ahmanet.
It’s probably time to admit that we take Ridley Scott’s films more seriously than Scott himself. While we argue over cinematic universes, director’s cuts, and unnecessary sequels, Scott is out there having a good time making whatever movies pop into his mind at any given moment. Sometimes that means promising another half-dozen Alien movies before his newest one has even been released. Sometimes that means producing a Blade Runner sequel that few people wanted. And sometimes, just sometimes, it means bringing back a Roman warrior from the literal dead.
Casting rumors come in two major flavors. On the one hand, you have concrete news about actors meeting with executives and filmmakers to discuss their participation in upcoming productions. On the other hand, you have the echo chamber of social media, where casting rumors can materialize out of thin air and then be given credibility during an interview or social media exchange with an actor. Not all fan rumors end up at the first stage, but it is true that some social media rumors have actually ended up with the actor being offered the role.
Behold, for your viewing pleasure: a photo of Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe looking at one another.
Every year, when the bottom drops out of the summer movie season and audiences decide to stay home and watch television instead, some well-meaning critic will publish an article asking if cinema is dead. And every year, I pose the same question in response: “Is Tom Cruise still an action star?” As long as Tom Cruise is running across multiplex screens — fighting rogue nations, government consiparcies, and even the occasional mummy — there is still hope for cinema. Then, when Cruise’s career is done and Hollywood is in ashes, then, cinema, you have my permission to die.
Universal’s grand plan for world domination, or at least an intertextually connected universe of highly profitable event films, has been put in motion. Their Dracula Untold laid the groundwork by introducing fiction’s most famous vampire into the mix, solo projects for Frankenstein’s monster, the Invisible Man, and monster hunter Van Helsing have all been established, and now The Mummy, the first piece of the puzzle (let’s do Universal a service and call Dracula Untold a warm-up, they can take a mulligan on that one), is set to be unveiled.
In keeping with the retro vibe (and setting) of The Nice Guys, the latest promo for Shane Black’s crime comedy reimagines the film as an old school animated series — the kind of thing you might have watched on CBS on a Saturday morning back in the ’70s. And while this promo is a little more kid-friendly, it’s still for a film that is most certainly not for kids (but it is for everyone else, and you should make time to see it this weekend).
The Nice Guys opens with a shot of the Hollywood sign in 1977, dilapidated and covered with graffiti. While modern film nerds look back at that era as a kind of Golden Age, the Los Angeles of The Nice Guys is a place that has lost its luster. The town is swimming in smog and porn; it is literally and metaphorically dirty from top to bottom. The crumbling Hollywood sign is historically accurate, but it also makes a convenient symbol, not just of the place as it was, but as it still is — particularly at this time of year, when everything is based on something else and it sometimes feels like the studios are remaking movies that were just released a few weeks earlier.
It’s hard to know what to expect from Universal’s ambitious new monster movie franchise, which will reboot many of the studio’s iconic boogeymen in one shared universe of films. And we probably won’t have a decent idea about what the studio is up to until next summer, when The Mummy hits theaters. But thanks to Russell Crowe, we have some indication of what Alex Kurtzman is planning for his reboot, which also stars Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella.
Tom Cruise is already deep into filming on Universal’s upcoming Mummy reboot, but the studio has added one big star to the film’s cast. Taking a cue from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the studio is in “early talks” with Russell Crowe to make an...