The Mummy is now in theaters - though critics are not being all that kind to it. The Tom Cruise reboot may not be hitting all the right notes with fans, however, there is a secondary concern at hand. The Mummy is not just a standalone reboot - it's a launchpad for the entire Dark Universe franchise that Universal Pictures wants to build. So even if The Mummy isn't a smashing hit, there's still an entire cinematic universe of supernatural action films that are going to get their shot at blockbuster success.
While we've broken down the ending of The Mummy and what it means for the future of the Dark Universe franchise, there are more monster movie connections that get introduced during the film.
Read on to find out How The Mummy Sets Up The Dark Universe Monster Movies - but be warned, there are SPOILERS ahead!
Welcome to Prodigium
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has S.H.I.E.L.D. to serve as the bridge between its various properties, and for the Dark Universe franchise, that bridge is Prodigum.
The organization known as Prodigum brings together a mix of scholars and soldiers in order to study, record, experiment on and ultimately eliminate evil forces from the world. The head of Prodigum is revealed to be none other than Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe), who Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) meets when is recruited by his lover Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), who is secretly a Prodigum agent.
Throughout The Mummy, we are given clues that Prodigum has been around for some time, and has encountered more than a few supernatural threats - including many of the iconic Universal monsters who will soon be getting their own films (more on them, Next Page...).prevnext
The Bad Doctor
Russell Crowe pulls double-duty in The Mummy by playing Henry Jekyll, head of Prodigum, as well as Mr. Hyde, our first connective thread to the other monsters that will populate this Dark Universe.
In The Mummy, we learn that this version of Jekyll spends his days tracking, studying, and fighting evil, while using a painfully-injected serum to supress his Mr. Hyde persona. As a necessary countermeasure, Jekyll has a sealed vault inside Prodigum, with extensive security measures (like a comprehensive palm scanner) to keep Hyde form either breaking out, or fooling others into letting him out.
By end of The Mummy, it's clear that the sort of "tortured soul," split-personality nature of figures like Henry Jekyll and Nick Morton will be the thematic basis of this Dark Universe franchise.prevnext
More Monsters... In Jars
When Nick is brought to Prodigum, he is walked through a lab (presumably Dr. Jekyll's), in which we see various jars of tissue samples on display, as well as skeletal remains of several strange-looking creatures.
Clearly, this particular scene of The Mummy is meant to drop Easter eggs that will set up the rest of the Dark Universe movies to come. Here's what we, and other fans, have spotted so far in the scene:
Dracula - The skull with elongated fangs is clearly a reference to Prodigum's past battles with vampires, which will eventually lead to the introduction of Dracula into the Dark Universe franchise.
Creature From the Black Lagoon - One sample jar in the lab contains a hand - a hand with fin-like membranes webbed between the fingers. Clearly this is a reference to The Creature From The Black Lagoon, one of the more obscure Universal Monsters films that will be part of the Dark Universe franchise.
Frankenstein - In one corner of Dr. Jekyll's private room / prison chamber, there is a display case on the wall that has many different skulls lined in a row. The skulls start small, with what looks like a chimpanzee or monkey's skull, and work their way up to a human skull, and then... something else. That "something" has a cranium, with a the top of the skull artificially attached to the bottom portion. This seems to be a clear reference to Frankenstein's monster, who will be played by Javier Bardem.
Wolf Man* - This one is a bit more of a stretch, but there is also a display case in Prodigum that houses both human skulls, and the skulls of beasts that look like Sabertooth tigers... or something else. It's a not a confirmed or obvious Easter egg, but the link between man and beast would seem to suggest a reference to The Wolf Man reboot, which Dwayne Johnson is rumored to be circling.prevnext
The New Mummy
In the end of The Mummy, Tom Cruise's Nick Morton sacrifices himself to save the life of Jenny Halsey, who was killed by the Mummy sorceress, Princess Ahmanet. Nick's sacrifice brings Jenny back to life and finally destroys Ahmanet; however, the trade off is that Nick is left cursed, forced to let Set, Egyptian God of Death, co-habit his body for all time, willing him to do dark and terrible things.
NIck is now established as a major anti-heroic monster figure in the Dark Universe franchise, who could logically become an important MacGuffin in the saga. He's an all-powerful figure that both sides (light and dark) seek to control, in order to further their own, respective, ends.0comments
However, the curve ball in that scenario is what Nick wants for himself. As an international thief and con man during his previous life, Nick has the cunning to not be played or used by either side of the coming conflict - especially when it comes to furthering his own agenda of breaking the curse.
MORE Mummy News:
- The Mummy Review
- What The New Mummy Stole From The Original
- How Dark Universe Needs to Update Universal Monsters
- Dark Universe Full Cast & Trailer Revealed