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Monday, 14 December 2015

Updated: Tom Cruise joins Universal's Classic Monsters-Verse for The Mummy

UPDATE: Both Tom Cruise's camp and Universal have vehemently denied that there is no deal in the works for the actor to star in THE MUMMY, so put this one in your "Wait and see" column for the time being.

And you were skeptical about what Universal is planning to do in order to get their Classic Monsters shared universe off the ground...? Well, the studio just locked up one of the biggest movie stars in the world to help kickstart their efforts.

Tom Cruise has agreed to star in THE MUMMY, although the nature of his role is still being kept under the veil of secrecy. The film is set in present-day, but there is still some wonder what story it is they're going to tell, be it one of the leaked concepts that have surfaced in recent months or something new entirely that Jon Spaights has penned for the script. With Cruise now signed, sealed and delivered, you can be sure he'll be an active part of the property's development, so all bets are off moving forward as to what THE MUMMY shapes up to be.

If you remember, Cruise was once attached to a reboot of VAN HELSING, so his affinity for classic monster tales is rather clear. That film may have never come to fruition, but Universal almost feels better off as a result. After all, there are far worse decisions to make than to use one of the more bankable talents in the industry to attract eyes to the first film of a then-larger universe. That's how you hook 'em, and Universal seems to be understand that right now, with word spreading that they are also chasing Angelina Jolie for BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.

According to Justin Kroll who broke the story, Cruise had an opening in his schedule between JACK REACHER 2 and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 6 after Doug Liman agreed to do GAMBIT. That put LUNA PARK on hold for a little bit, and THE MUMMY fit right in. OVERLOOK HOTEL, the prequel to THE SHINING, also was trying to lure Cruise, but THE MUMMY provided too powerful a chance for Cruise to get involved with something he's a big fan of itself. And that's how we got here.

Interview: Arnold Vosloo

Life tends to get turned upside down in movies. Many respected British theatre actors cheerfully take their pay cheques and turn out for all kinds of Hollywood hokum, a far cry from their dusty theatrical roots.

And much the same is true of Arnold Vosloo, the South African born anti-hero of "The Mummy Returns". Back home he was a hard working theatre actor with a string of prestigious credits to his name, but now thanks to his performance as the evil Imhotep in "The Mummy" and this latest blockbusting sequel, he is known for something quite different.

"Oh it’s a relief to do movies," Vosloo smiles, "especially ones like this because you get to be like a little kid again and run around and play in this great adventure. I had a wonderful time."

Brought back to life once more, Imhotep not only has to battle his old foe Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) but an even older one in the form of the mighty Scorpion King. However audiences get a chance to see Imhotep’s softer side, as we realise the depth of his love for Anck-Su-Namun.

"I’m so thankful that all that stuff made it to the screen," the actor nods, "because a lot of the time studio executives say that there’s no time, or ask why we should feel sympathy for this bad guy".

"I joke that I’m the romantic lead in the movie, I just happened to pick the wrong girl. Imhotep is kind of the tragic villain, I guess, and a lot of people have come up to me and said I was hating you, but then I reach a point when I was feeling sorry for you too. It's those different facets that help explain why this film is such a success".
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