Russell Crowe is in talks to join Universal’s monster universe as classic literary characters Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
If a deal is made, Crowe would appear as the tormented doctor who changes into a murderous madman in The Mummy before potentially starring in his own film.
Mummy is already shooting in London with Tom, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson.
It’s important to note that Crowe is in early talks and that any potential deal could fall apart, which has happened before for this role. Universal was in talks with Tom Hardy and that fell apart. It was then in talks with Javier Bardem, but that too went nowhere.
The storyline is set in the modern day with Tom playing a special forces soldier (or former soldier), according to sources. Wallis, one of the stars of British gangster show Peaky Blinders, will play a scientist while Boutella, who had a breakout role in Kingsman: The Secret Service, will take on the titular role. Jake Johnson is playing a member of the military.
The script calls for the appearance of Henry Jekyll, who is best known to horror aficionados as the doctor who invents a serum that allows himself to be turned into a depraved and hideous man known as Mr. Hyde. The two first appeared in the novella The Strange Tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Robert Louis Stevenson, who also authored Treasure Island.
Universal already is developing movies ranging from The Bride of Frankenstein to The Creature From the Black Lagoon that would join The Mummy in this shared universe. Hyde also would be part of that universe.
(The character was already part of a Justice League of classic monsters of sorts in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the 2003 adaptation of the Alan Moore-Kevin O’Neill comics that also included Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker and Dorian Gray, among others.)
Alex Kurtzman is directing The Mummy and producing with Chris Morgan and Sean Daniel.
Hot off his critically acclaimed performance as Johnnie Cochran in FX’s record-breaking series The People vs. OJ Simpson, Courtney B. Vance has joined the cast of The Mummy for Universal Pictures, the first film in the studio’s new production endeavor that will expand and unify a network of classic monsters. He joins Tom Cruise, Kingsman: The Secret Service‘s Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson in the cast. Alex Kurtzman is directing, and producing with Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious series, Wanted) and Sean Daniel (who produced the last The Mummy trilogy). Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) wrote the script, and Sarah Bradshaw is exec producer.
Last year, Tom Cruise took CinemaCon by storm, keeping theater owners enraptured as he spun tales of how he risked life and limb by strapping himself to the side of an airplane on “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.”
The actor behind the hit spy series couldn’t make it to Las Vegas this go-round. Cruise was busy filming in London, but he still taped a video appearance for the exhibition industry confab, promising that super spy Ethan Hunt will be back for more global espionage and gravity-defying world saving. Filming will begin next fall with “Rogue Nation” director and co-writer Christopher McQuarrie returning for another adventure.
The mission may change, but the formula will stay the same. Cruise said that there will be “…more incredible set pieces, stunts…and what I think is a very entertaining and compelling story.”
In addition to promises of more escapades for Hunt and the IMF, Cruise will return as former U.S. Army Military Police Corps officer and general badass, Jack Reacher. The new film, “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” reunites Cruise with his “The Last Samurai” director Ed Zwick. The actor said that the film is about an “analog character in a digital world,” and promised that it would feature “real classic movie, movie stuff.”
Paramount, the studio behind both franchises, unveiled the first footage from “Never Go Back” — highlighting scenes that showed Reacher using his hands and wits to get the best of anyone dumb enough to challenge him.
(Here begin trailer spoilers) The trailer begins with Reacher calmly sitting at a diner counter, sipping coffee, while law enforcement officers marvel at a heap of mangled and brutalized bodies just outside the entrance. They then make the mistake of trying to bring Reacher to heel.
“Two things are going to happen in the next 90 seconds,” Reacher calmly states, while pointing to a pay phone. “First that phone is going to ring. Second you’re going to be wearing those cuffs on your way to prison.”
The trailer also shows Reacher partnering with a military officer played by Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”), but didn’t offer up much information on what kind of grand conspiracy they will be untangling.
“You’re going to start running,” Cruise’s Reacher informs an unseen villain on the phone, before adding, “I’m going to start hunting you.”
Audiences will have to wait until Oct. 21 to find out who is on the other end of the line.
Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse have been tapped to write the sequel to Tom Cruise and Doug Liman’s sci-fi sleeper hit Edge Of Tomorrow. The original film, also starring a buffed-up Emily Blunt, was a surprise and pleasure for many genre fans with its time-bending narrative and stylish chemistry between its leads. Although a slow opener domestically, it eventually hit $100 million in the U.S. More importantly, it was a bone fide smash internationally, grossing a further $270 million or so to make the case for a sequel pretty compelling.
The original seemed to square up any loose ends pretty efficiently, though, so Shrapnel and Waterhouse will have to be inventive to find a way to get Blunt back in the mix with Cruise. Liman is attached to direct with Erwin Stoff and Tom Lassally producing. Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote the first film, is in talks to board as a producer and is developing the script with the writers.
Shrapnel and Whitehouse are much in-demand. After getting their first proper feature produced this year with the Jesse Owens biopic Race, the pair were brought on to do a rewrite of The Gray Man, based on the novel by Mark Greaney, at Sony. McQuarrie is also set to direct this one with Charlize Theron attached to star. Theron’s Denver and Delilah label is also aboard as producers alongside Joe Roth.