Universal's Monsters Universe continues to attract the biggest A-listers in the land.
With Johnny Depp already attached to play The Invisible Man and Tom Cruise currently filming a remake of The Mummy... word now comes from Deadline that Russell Crowe is the latest Hollywood juggernaut circling the fledging universe.
Crowe is in early talks to play a "Jekyll-like role" in The Mummy, which may literally mean he's playing Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde as there's several clear signs pointing to this;
1) The Mummy is currently filming in London, where the character traditionally resides in horror lore.
2) The casting appears to be a late addition to the movie as it's already well into shooting... signalling that the part may be a shoe-horned cameo.
3) Such a cameo would of course help expand the Universal Monsters franchise, similar to when Robert Downey Jr became a late addition to The Incredible Hulk when a hastily added post-credits scene saw Tony Stark interact with William Hurt's General Ross.
4) With multiple Academy-Award winner Crowe easily being able to lead a movie on his own, his casting fits what the studio have gone for with heavyweight actors leading larger than life movies. According to further repots in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter today, Tom Hardy was very close to signing on for the part before negotiations fell apart and the likes of Javier Bardem, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eddie Redmayne had been courted... there's just no way this isn't a major role with this kind of talent wanted.
5) Perhaps a new Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde movie is the mysterious third Universal Monsters movie announced yesterday for a Feb 2019 release.
The contemporary reboot of The Mummy is due for release June 9th, 2017 with Tom Cruise top-billed as a special forces soldier who stumbles across an ancient old tomb, alongside Annabelle Wells as the female heroine.
Sofia Boutella plays the titular Mummy with Jake Johnson and Courtney B. Vance in supporting roles.
Directed by Alex Kurtzman, the movie will be the "Iron Man" of this universe with plans for Johnny Depp's Invisible Man soon to follow and movies involving The Wolfman and the Bride Of Frankenstein not too far behind. Essentially this is "The Avengers" but with classic horror movie villains... inevitably leading to a big cross-over film.