As we noted earlier, Universal has been fairly secretive about their plans for their cinematic universe which will feature a number of the studio’s classic monster characters. But some casting news today has revealed a potential new clue as to what the studio has up its sleeve over the next several years.
According to Variety, Russell Crowe is currently in talks with Universal to appear in The Mummy. The role that the New Zealand actor will be taking is that of none other than Dr. Jekyll, one half of the duo he forms with his dark side, Mr. Hyde. The role is a small one, but with the potential of spinning off to its own film for Crowe. According to Variety’s Justin Kroll, Universal had been in talks with Tom Hardy but that deal fell through. They then looked at Eddie Redmayne and Joseph Gordon-Levitt before deciding on Crowe.
What’s interesting about this news is that up until know, there had been no indication that the studio and franchise overseers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan had been considering adding the tragic character created by writer Robert Lewis Stevenson and brought to cinematic life by Fredric March in the classic 1931 film. Over the years a number of other actors have tackled the role including John Barrymore, Spencer Tracy and John Malkovich.
As noted, The Mummy is currently in production with Tom Cruise as a soldier-of-fortune coming up against Sofia Boutella as the titular monster with Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson co-starring. The studio has blocked out two more release dates beyond The Mummy‘s June 9, 2017 bow, but they have not announced any titles for them. The studio has landed Johnny Depp for the lead role in an Invisible Man film and has reportedly been speaking with Angelina Jolie for a Bride Of Frankenstein picture.