When ancient evil awakens and is in need of vanquishing, you need heroes who are quick on their feet. However, seeing as Sofia Boutella is in talks to play said ancient evil in Universal's new reboot of The Mummy, it looks like they're going to have to run just a little bit faster.
Not to long after the first casting announcement for the project had Tom Cruise in negotiations to be the lead in the Alex Kurtzman directed film, Boutella's name has come up as another candidate to help expand the developing Universal Monsters' cinematic universe. Naturally, there's no confirmation from anyone in the studio's camp just yet, but should this opportunity land as THR has speculated, this would make 2015 a banner year for the actor we last saw in Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Sofia Boutella's stock has risen since her appearance in this year's kick assed spy vehicle, as she made enough of an impression as the blade legged baddie Gazelle. Not only did that character land her a role in next summer's Star Trek Beyond, it's obviously gained her some notice from the folks who are looking to reassemble the most notorious ghouls in cinematic history. The icing on the cake is the fact that Sofia Boutella is of Nigerian descent, which is a wise move as her role-appropriate ethnicity definitely compliments her acting abilities. This makes her a strong candidate for a role, especially in a time where diversity is sorely needed in the marketplace.
The history of The Mummy makes Boutella's casting groundbreaking, as this is the first time a female antagonist has been used in the history of the legendary Universal franchise. With Boris Karloff originating the character in the 1932 classic, and Arnold Vosloo last playing the role in 1999's The Mummy and in 2001's follow-up The Mummy Returns, the history of the character has been dominated by male actors. Should Sofia Boutella stick the landing, she'll be making history as a more ethnically appropriate, gender swapped Universal Monster antagonist.
The potential success of The Mummy's reboot would not only change history for any future casting of a lead antagonist role in the Universal Monsters' universe; it would also help keep plans for said universe on track. In the item detailing Boutella's potential casting, it's said that this will be the "first" film in the planned Monsters series. Something tells us that last year's Dracula Untold is about to either be ret-conned or treated like The Incredible Hulk is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which means that if you were a fan of Luke Evans' portrayal of the tragically romantic bloodsucker, you're probably going to be disappointed when Dracula makes his next appearance on screen.
The Mummy has a lot riding on its success, as Universal clearly wants / needs another franchise to stick, so they aren't relying too heavily on their Furious 7 and Jurassic World follow-ups. Bringing Sofia Boutella into the fold is a pretty shrewd move to ensure that success, and should Tom Cruise follow suit, you can expect even more excitement to surround this project's development in the future. With Imhotep set to rise again in a March 24, 2017 release date, we'd expect a decision to be made within the next couple of months, so we'll keep our eyes peeled!