When The Mummy reboot hits theaters next summer it will kick off the Universal Monsters shared universe, taking the classic monsters in a brand new direction. The first noticeable deviation from the original line of films is that that titular Mummy character will be a woman, a decision that director Alex Kurtzman reveals was not the original plan for the upcoming film. Speaking to Cinemablend, Kurtzman explained that the decision to make the Mummy character a man was altered after the director saw the post-credits scene to Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Kurtzman revealed that his original design for the Mummy was for a male character with a skin condition that figured heavily into the characters backstory.
“I’ll let you in on a secret. There was a moment when I had sort of rendered a design that I liked for a male version of The Mummy. And in that version of The Mummy, the Mummy had been born with a skin pigmentation that at the time would have made him really sort of an outcast. And I thought it was an interesting backstory, because it began to tell the story of someone who had been bullied, which I found topical. I was reaching for a way to make the Mummy a character who is relatable, understandable, and that spoke to issues that we’re dealing with now.”
However, Kurtzman explained that the design of Apocalypse featured in the Days of Future Past post-credits scene forced him to alter his plans.
“I was going down that road, and then I saw the end of Days of Future Past. And they had the character that Oscar Isaac wound up playing as a boy, and it was, I kid you not, the exact same design. And I was like, ‘Oh, man! That is not good!’ And actually it was the catalyst, it was the moment of, ‘Okay, not only is this not going to be different enough, Bryan Singer just did it, I definitely don’t want to go down that road.’ I had had that voice in my head for some time to make it a woman, and that was the moment where, the minute I saw that post-credits scene, I went, ‘We have to start over. I don’t want to mess around even remotely with anything that feels familiar or feels like it’s been done. I have to go in totally new territory.'”
Though it was not the original plan, Kurtzman said being forced to change his concept of The Mummy was for the best.
“In a way it was very helpful to me, because it made me take that leap. And once we took that leap, the story presented itself in such a beautiful way, such a different way. A lot of the decisions, you spend a lot of time talking to people and you think it through as much as you can, but ultimately it comes down to what feels right. And the minute I allowed myself to let the Mummy be Ahmanet, it just felt right. And that’s the best way for me to say it.”
The Mummy stars Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance and Russell Crowe.
The Mummy will be released in theaters on June 9, 2017.