The Mummy Director Says The Dark Universe Movie Was Painful

Sofia Boutella as The Mummy

The Mummy was a movie that was supposed to launch a new cinematic universe. It was to be the first of a series of movies that brought Universal's classic monsters into the modern era. Unfortunately, that idea hasn't gone as planned. Part of the reason may be that actually making the first movie wasn't all that much fun, as director Alex Kurtzman describes the experience, at the time, as "painful." According to Kurtzman...

The Mummy wasn't what I wanted it to be. I'm no longer involved in that and have no idea what's going on with it. I look back on it now [and] what felt painful at the time ended up being an incredible blessing for me. I learned that I need to follow my own instincts, and when I can't fully do that, I don't think I can succeed. Those films are beautiful because the monsters are broken characters, and we see ourselves in them. I hope those are the movies that they make; I want to see them.

While Alex Kurtzman says he now looks back on the experience of making The Mummy as a blessing, he tells THR that at the time it was anything but. Of course, the reason that he says the film was a blessing now is that it taught him to follow his own instincts, implying that he wasn't doing so while directing Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella.

He does say that the film wasn't what he wanted it to be, so perhaps he didn't follow his instincts in pushing the movie to become something he knew it should be. Since the response to The Mummy both critically and commercially was lukewarm at best, we can guess that's probably the case.

Alex Kurtzman is no longer involved in the Dark Universe so he can't speak to its future. Several months ago Universal was still taking meetings on the idea which indicated that while things had certainly slowed, the concept of creating a new series of monster movies wasn't entirely dead after all.

Having said that, we have heard nothing about any of the other film projects actually moving forward. It seems likely that if and when the Dark Universe does return, the entire concept could be starting from scratch.

The Universal monsters, from Dracula to Frankenstein and the Wolfman could be considered the first ever cinematic universe, as the classic Universal films did see the various monsters cross over and do some films together. It seems like the perfect set of properties to bring back in a modern era when connected films have become so popular.

If we do get a Bride of Frankenstein or a Creature From the Black Lagoon one day, hopefully, the person in charge of directing them will find the experience a blessing while actually filming the movie, not long after the fact.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.