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The characters of Universal's Dark Universe can quite literally come from anywhere in the world. The Mummy's Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) will rise from Egypt, Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe) is British, and Tom Cruise's Nick Morton seems like a distinctly American adventurer. However, to get a glimpse at one of the Dark Universe's most exotic monsters, audiences will apparently venture deep within the Amazon. In fact, The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman recently opened up and confirmed that the titular monster in Creature from the Black Lagoon would hail from the rainforests of South America, saying:
These are global films. So it's going be dependent on the nature of each monster. Some of the... Creature from the Black Lagoon is the Amazon. Spoiler, by the way.
The reveal of an Amazon origin for Creature from the Black Lagoon's monster is a fascinating development for the Dark Universe, but it's may not be terribly surprising to fans of the character. In the original Black Lagoon film from 1954, the titular villain similarly hailed from the South American jungle, which seems to indicate that Universal has opted to keep many essential elements of the story intact. While not necessarily spoiler-heavy regarding raw plot details, knowing that the upcoming reboot will take audiences back to the Amazon at least gives us some basic hints at the setting and aesthetic of the upcoming movie.
This precise geographic origin may also help us with guesswork related to the actor Universal may tap to play the titular monster in Creature from the Black Lagoon. As a monster native to the Amazon, it would make sense for the Dark Universe to hire a South American cast. There's already precedent for a decision like this, as The Mummy similarly hired Sofia Boutella (an Algerian native) to play the Egyptian Princess Ahmanet.
So it's all about figuring out what the nature and the mythology of each monster and figuring out a setting. Our whole design is to make these global films.
There's obviously an advantage to creating a cinematic universe on a "global" scale that extends far beyond pure creative freedom. Diversity can help blockbuster franchises such as the Dark Universe succeed at the box office (particularly overseas), so branching the geographic origins of these characters out helps cast a considerably wider net for potential audiences. Foreign box office numbers have become increasingly important for blockbuster franchises in recent years, so thinking globally is a smart move for Universal to make at this stage of the game.
The world of gods and monsters is about to kick off in a major way, but we will have to see what happens to the Dark Universe when it officially commences with the upcoming theatrical release of The Mummy this weekend on June 9.