Leave a Comment
Summer 2017 was a good time for a number of franchises. The DCEU's Wonder Woman made history with its box office performance, The Conjuring universe saw another solid entry with Annabelle: Creation and War for the Planet of the Apes finished strong with great critical buzz. Then there's The Mummy, which underperformed domestically and got the Dark Universe off to a shaky start. In the face of the film's misfire, a brand new Honest Trailer has debuted online showing how The Mummy faltered whenever it tried to be like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Check it out below.
As that trailer plainly points out, there are clear parallels between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what The Mummy tried to do for the Dark Universe. They both feature shady organizations led by eccentric characters -- Nick Fury and Jekyll/Hyde, respectively -- and both serve the overarching function of establishing cohesive worlds that can accommodate waves of spinoff films. Both universes even elevate their scope and scale to include potentially city-destroying conflicts in their third acts, which is not something that we typically associate with films about mummies. The difference here is that Marvel's model has generally been regarded positively among fans, while enthusiasm for the Dark Universe has waned among many segments of the fanbase following The Mummy's poor critical reception.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe wasn't the only property whose DNA was apparent in The Mummy though. As pointed out by the Screen Junkies trailer, properties like An American Werewolf in London and Indiana Jones also feel copied at various times throughout the run of the story. There's clearly the DNA of a lot of good ideas in this film, but many fans have started to agree that they just didn't gel in a meaningful way this time.
With that said, the lackluster performance of The Mummy has not completely scuttled the future of the Dark Universe on the silver screen. The franchise still has a lot of star power attached to it (such as Javier Bardem as Frankenstein, Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man and Tom Cruise's continued presence), as well as some intriguing projects coming up that could learn from the mistakes made in the first movie. In that regard, Bill Condon's Bride of Frankenstein is slated to debut in theaters on Valentine's Day 2019, and the inherent nature of the character could indicate that the Dark Universe will scale down and focus on the monster aspect of this monster universe, which is something that true monster fans could potentially latch onto. Remember, this is not the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the DC Extended Universe; the franchise needs to match the tone and style of the characters who inhabit it.
Only time will tell if Universal and the Dark Universe will learn from the mistakes and missteps of The Mummy. Beyond that (and looking ahead to the rest of this year), check out CinemaBlend's comprehensive 2017 movie premiere guide and fill out your moviegoing calendars accordingly!