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Director Alex Kurtzman's The Mummy is definitely taking the classic Universal Monster franchise in directions it's never gone, but one very notable change is that the titular creature is no longer male. Within the film, it's an element that opens new narrative avenues and approaches, but it may surprise you to learn that it wasn't the direction Kurtzman originally planned. The Mummy was initially going to be played by a man in the reboot, but that idea got derailed when the writer/director saw his exact vision featured in the post-credits scene of Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
With the first trailer for The Mummy premiering this past weekend, I had the pleasure of talking with Alex Kurtzman over the phone this morning to talk about his latest blockbuster, and it was during our interview that he revealed the impact that Days of Future Past had on his approach. I asked him if he had always planned on having The Mummy be a woman in the film, but he explained that his original ideas were totally different. Said Kurtzman,
Odd skin pigmentation and living in ancient Egypt? Remind you of anyone, X-Men fans?
The image above is a screencap from the post-credits scene of X-Men: Days of Future Past, showing a young Apocalypse -- with white/blue skin - being praised like a god. When Alex Kurtzman saw this on the big screen back in 2014, he immediately had to start backtracking on his ideas for The Mummy. He explained,
Alex Kurtzman told me later in the interview that his version of The Mummy will still feature the same aforementioned relatable and understandable elements of the eponymous character -- in the tradition of the Universal Monster movies -- but deciding to make "him" a "her" (played by Kingsman/Star Trek Beyond actress Sofia Boutella) forced other changes in his approach.
Looking back on it, Kurtzman explained that he felt that seeing X-Men: Days Of Future Past use his developing ideas actually wound up being the best thing for The Mummy, in that it pushed him to go in directions he wouldn't have otherwise gone in:
The Mummy will be arriving in theaters on June 9th, and be sure to stay tuned for more from my interview with Alex Kurtzman!