The Mummy Reboot Mistake

I was reading an article yesterday (which can be found here) regarding the new Mummy remake and how it is bombing in the United States.

The article gives a few explanations for that, including Wonder Woman drawing away a lot of the audience. But, I have a much more simple reason.

When Universal decided to reboot the monster movie franchises, they made a huge mistake with their casting in this very first film. Tom Cruise is a heck of an actor and I love the decision to bring in a well-known, big-money star. But, he is cast in the wrong role.

I should mention I have not seen the movie yet. In fact, I haven't decided if I'm going to ever see the movie (if I do, it won't be at the theater). As a result, this shouldn't be construed as a review of the film, which may actually be better than the box office results are showing. My opinion of this is based more on my love of classic horror films instead.

The original versions of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and The Wolf Man are considered classics. And, it isn't because of great special effects or even great scripts. They are memorable because talented actors played the title characters.

Nearly 90 years after Dracula played in theaters, people still picture Bela Lugosi whenever someone mentions the vampire. The same can be said of Boris Karloff's version of Frankenstein's Monster and Lon Chaney Jr's Wolf Man.

The mistake Universal made with this reboot is they cast their big-named star as the hero fighting the monster when they should have cast him as the monster itself. After all, people watch monster movies because of the monsters, not the heroes. It's not as though I watched A Nightmare of Elm Street for the dozenth time this past weekend because Johnny Depp was in it.

You don't even need to go back to the original 1932 version of this movie for evidence of this. The 1999 remake starred Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz as the heroes. But, Arnold Vosloo was simply awesome as the awakened creature, making it a reasonably decent film.

Again, I haven't seen the new version and maybe Sofia Boutella is as good as Vosloo. But, even if that is the case, the fact this is the second reboot of a movie classic and it is meant to be the starting point for several other reboots. This means this film needed the recognizable star power in the most important role. And, considering Cruise was pretty darn awesome as the bad guy in Interview With a Vampire, I can only imagine what he could have brought to a character that has the power to bring a plague to the world.


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