Universal Pictures is delivering a crazy line up this year which includes the return of a major horror icon in a massive, multi-million dollar reboot. President Domestic Distribution. Carpou welcome attendees and recounted Universal’s accomplishments so far in 2017. Donna Langley, Chairman Universal Pictures took the stage and recounted the success of SPLIT, 50 Shades Darker, and Get Out giving Universal their best first quarter of ever.Think about that. Two of the three major releases that pushed Universal Pictures to their best beginning of the year were horror films. This definitely bodes well for the genre as it does for the studio that helped create a home for horror in the early days of cinema.
Host Natalie Morales then took the stage to take us through the summer slate of Universal’s films. After sharing the news from Illumination with sequels coming for SING and The Secret Life of Pets, and after a sizzle reel of Despicable Me, Chris Meladandri and Steve Carell chatted about the Despicable Me franchise.
Next up we got on to what the horror fans would be interested as we segued into the brand new The Mummy staring Tom Cruise. The segment began with an homage to the classic heritage of Universal Monsters.
The director of the film, Alex Kurtzman, along with stars Sofia Boutella (The Mummy), Annabelle Wallis (Jenny Halsey) and Jake Johnson (Sgt. Vail) joined Morales on stage to discuss the film. She was a princess that was promised to become the next Pharaoh. That is taken from her and she is pissed. “When something happens to us there is always a Monster inside of us.” said Boutella.
Apparently Cruise was a stickler for authenticity in the stunts and asked that the scenes in the freight plane be filmed in zero g. “There were 64 takes in a zero G atmosphere, 4 flights in all” said director Kurtzman, “And lots of barf bags.” he quipped.
Then Cruise introduced the first extended look at the new Mummy film via prerecorded message. The lights dimmed, and the clip started.
It began with Tom Cruise being pursued through the streets of a nondescript Egyptian town. Through the chase they uncover a sinkhole in the sand that reveals a seemingly bottomless underground chamber. The three explorers realize that they are in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian and whisk the sarcophagus off to London. In the process the plane encounters what looked like a swarm of locusts and begins to take a nose dive. Cruise’s girl gets pulled out of the plummeting aircraft and Cruise goes down with the aircraft.
Waking up on a coroner slab, Cruise realizes what has happened and begins to piece together a sinister power that has taken him over. It seems that his new discovery was a fierce Egyptian Princess that became particularly vengeful after being promised the position of Pharaoh and not getting it. She became a problem and was not killed, but imprissoned in an underground tomb. After being unearthed by Cruise she has given him immortality to use him in her plan to take over the world and make it her own.
The trailer that we saw looked like it definitely had promise. Gone are the goofy comic elements of the previous Mummy reboot. The idea of a female Mummy is novel, I just hope that they actually give her the teeth that she deserves to be a real threat. This had grit and nastiness to it that had me interested.