In Universal's latest reboot of The Mummy, Sofia Boutella -- the breakout star of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond -- portrays an Egyptian princess that is promised to become Pharaoh. However, after her father has a son and instead chooses him to be the next ruler of Egypt, she feels betrayed and turns to the dark side to get back what she thinks is rightfully hers.
"Having nothing to lose, she summons the wrong god, in order to get what she wanted, that power that will give her what she was promised," the 35-year-old dancer-turned-actress told EW. "She’s put aside for a very long time because she became dangerous. In modern times, she comes back, to go after what she was promised to receive, to begin with."
That backstory provides a reasonable motivation for her villainy, making her more sympathetic. Plus, it's the reason Boutella was motivated to take the part. "It was important to me that this character had a backstory, you know? It’s the first time that you see a female Mummy," she said. "She can’t be just a monster walking around scaring people. There needs to be something significant her shining through. To explore that psychology in her, what happened to her as a woman: Being deceived, because there’s a boy who comes into the picture all of a sudden."
Did she look back at any of the past films in the franchise? "I did watch the 1932 one. I’ve seen it in the past when I was little, but I wanted to see it again, to look at what Boris Karloff did," she shared. "I researched a lot about Egyptian mythology and Egyptian civilization. I researched kings and queens: How they would carry themselves, how they were painted and portrayed. I needed to get inside of Ahmanet, and I needed to find that rhythm.
Thought safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient queen (Sofia Boutella) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.
From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.
The cast features Tom Cruise (Jack Reacher, Top Gun), Russell Crowe (The Nice Guys, Gladiator), and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Star Trek Beyond), as well as Courtney B. Vance (The People Vs. O.J. Simpson), Annabelle Wallis (Annabelle, Peaky Blinders), Marwan Kenzari (Ben-Hur), and Jake Johnson (New Girl, Jurassic World).
Alex Kurtzman, the screenwriter and producer behind Star Trek Into Darkness and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is on board to make his directorial debut, working off of a script penned by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange).
The Mummy will lumber into theaters June 9, 2017.