– by Joseph Jammer Medina

When it was first announce that Universal would (again) be remaking The Mummy, it was all too easy to get cynical. They had only just recently (well, in the late ‘90s) remade the film, and it turned out pretty darn well. Did they really need to do so again? Of course, the key difference here would be its tie-ins with a Universal Monsters shared universe, and while that was all well and good, there wasn’t much evidence for us to conclude that the film would be any good.

And then Tom Cruise signed on.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a Tom Cruise film that was outright bad. Sure, maybe his films don’t quite hit the mark every time, but they’ve always been more-than-passable experiences in his long career. Having in sign on was a great way to tell fans that they were taking this seriously.

But what role would Tom Cruise be playing in the film? The recently-released trailer (as well as the teaser from months ago), showed the star doing his typical action hero runs and jumps, and for a bit, it seemed like there would be little to differentiate it from his typical roles. However, when we saw the man wake up in a morgue, it was clear that something was up.

But what was it? As of right now, we don’t know if Tom Cruise is going to be continuing on in this universe. So this begs the question: is his role in this film one that will extend beyond this film? If so, what is it?

Here are some of our best bits of speculation as to who Tom Cruise’s character can be.

Some Unlucky Schmoe

Well, a Schmoe who knows his way around a firearm, at least. In the trailer, we’re told that Princess Ahmanet has plans in store for Cruise’s character. What those plans are are unclear, but the end result seems to be some slightly undead characteristics. Any normal man would have died in that plane crash, and the fact that he survived is telling.

Assuming Tom Cruise’s role will be restricted to this film, perhaps we can take a cue from the 1999 Mummy remake. In that film, Imhotep sucks the life from those who awakened him, and with each man he killed, he became more and more human. Since Tom Cruise was the one who awakened Princess Ahmanet this time around, perhaps this is a similar deal. 

Ahmanet may have given him immortality until the moment she finds him and can suck the life out of him, becoming more human in the process. This is admittedly an incredibly boring and uninspired theory, but it’s one worth discussing.

The Mummy

First we have to consider the fact that The Mummy is the first in a series of films that will make up the shared Universal Monsters Universe. Given that this world is set to expand, does it seem a bit weird that they made Princess Ahmanet kind of a crazy villain? In past iterations of the character, the titular mummy is motivated by lost love, but in this film, she seems to be bats**t crazy. She is locked away for being crazy and bloodthirsty, and when she’s awakened, she seems all the more bloodthirsty.

Is this a character we can returning down the line in another film? It seems unlikely. They need to put a stop to her once and for all, or risk the earth’s total destruction, right? So what does that mean for the Mummy character in this universe? Will she be M.I.A. from the second film and beyond?

Enter Tom Cruise. As mentioned above, he seems to be something of an immortal. As such, is it possible that by the end of the film, Ahmanet will be dead, and Tom Cruise will take on some of the abilities of the Mummy? This would allow the character to remain relevant beyond the first film, and give us an idea of how we can expect to see this monsters in future films.

Yes, technically, unless he is wrapped up, he won’t be a “mummy,” but that’s hardly a dealbreaker.

Descendant Of Van Helsing

Let’s go one step further. Perhaps Tom Cruise’s encounter with the Mummy will actually open up the floodgates for him to bridge to yet another Universal Monster: Dracula. What if by some sheer freakish coincidence, Tom Cruise is the descendant of one Professor Abraham Van Helsing? As we know from the appearance of Russell Crowe as Doctor Jekyll, this film will be setting the foundation for films to come, so perhaps it’s because of Cruise’s lineage that he is deemed special by Ahmanet.

Of course, Cruise’s character may be unaware of his ancestor’s struggle against Count Dracula, but this could be just what he needs to kickstart his interest in hunting vampires in another adventure. Yes, this one is a bit of a stretch — we already know Cruise’s character’s name is Nick Morton, but given Tom Cruise’s box office appeal and general gravitas, they would do well to find some way to utilize him in a big way down the line.

Locking him down as a vampire hunter could help to make him the adhesive that holds the entirety of this universe together. Whether or not this leads into another Dracula film down the line is another subject altogether, but it could be an interesting way to have a sequel with this character that’s a part of another “franchise.”

What do you think? Will we see Tom Cruise beyond The Mummy, and if so, will he continue on as more than your average man? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.