As The Mummy ramps up for release in June, attention is being focused on what will come next in the Universal Monsters Universe (that's like... two universes!) that will include Bride of Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Wolfman, and Invisible Man. Traditionally, past reboots/remakes of these franchises have been period pieces, but The Mummy is shaking things up with a modern setting and about as A-List an actor as you can get in Tom Cruise.
The question arises then, will the entire Universal Monster Universe be set in the modern day? Or will some of the more "everlasting" -- undead, immortal, etc -- characters be introduced in settings truer to the original films and then brought together in present day to join the Mummy in their Avengers-type crossover film?
Collider had a discussion with Chris Morgan, one of the writers tapped to shepherd the franchise, about this very topic:
“The studio is mostly interested in just doing good films. They would like them generally to be more contemporary I think, just to reflect a modern sensibility and a modern take on the monsters. The Mummy is one of the first modern day—for Universal anyway—Mummy films; all the others are period. But there are no rules, so if there is a great period version of these that’s just undeniable, then we’ll absolutely fight for that and go for it.”
So, the answer is... unclear. They're aiming for modern day, but will go old-school if the story is right? Based on the quote, I'm going to assume Universal will just play it safe and consistent, keeping all the titles contemporary.
The other question is how these films will be rated. Thus far, Marvel Studios and DC have kept their theatrical releases PG-13, with Marvel claiming the MCU films would never dip into R-rated territory. The Mummy is rated PG-13, but the subject matter of these films, literally monsters, could definitely lend themselves to a harder rating. Morgan had this to say when asked whether or not ratings are being considered during development:
“It does come up. I don’t want to say it’s a different conversation, because it’s not really, we’ve always taken the approach of writing it for the way that it’s right and then we can always scale up and down for rating if that became a concern. But let’s just do the best story, just show us what the best story is and we can deal with that later. I mean, I think specially with Logan and Deadpool, those are great examples for [the R-rating], they make a real case for there being flexibility in the rating more than there ever was. So, again, just tonally right for the story that you want to tell and let’s deal with that later.”
That's even more non-committal than the last answer! Again, I assume that Universal will try to keep all their films at a PG-13 for a wider audience, as The Mummy already very well could have been R-rated if they wanted. If you ask me, it looks like that decision has already been made for the franchise as a whole, though I may just be overly cynical.
What would you like to see done with Universal's Monster Universe? Do you think they are headed in the right direction with a contemporary, PG-13 Mummy? Or do you want to see things get more classic and bloody? Let us know in the comments below!
The Mummy hits theaters on June 9, 2017.
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