They may not have superheroes, but Universal Pictures is definitely working on shared universes of its own. The studio announced earlier this month that it's looking into prequels and a spinoff for the Fast and Furious franchise, and then of course there's that revival of the Universal Monsters helmed by writers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan.
We don't know all that much about the plans for the shared universe, other than it hopes to recapture the former glory of the classic Universal Monsters lineup with an even greater focusing on overlapping the monsters' stories. Kurtzman, Morgan and company opened up a bit about their approach to developing the universe (led by a 10-person writers' room) last week, but when it comes to actual release details, all we really know is the first movie will be a reboot of The Mummy. Now we might know who the star is, and this is a big one.
Variety reports that Tom Cruise is "in talks" to star in The Mummy, which could start production as early as next year. It's not clear which starring role he'll play, whether he'll be the titular mummy or the man who has to take the monster down, but the report notes that Cruise is expected to "play a large part" in the franchise as a whole, even appearing in other monster films. So, if this is a true, it's a pretty big undertaking.
Getting Cruise involved in a budding franchise effort would also be a major win for Universal as it tries to make its way into a shared-universe filmmaking world that Marvel, Warner Bros. and Fox are already major players in. Whether this monsterverse will work is still anyone's guess, but it couldn't hurt to have one of the biggest movie stars on the planet in the studio's corner.
What do you think of Cruise shuffling into Universal's monsterverse?