'Kingsman' Star Touted for 'The Mummy,' But Is Tom Cruise In or Out?

'Kingsman' Star Touted for 'The Mummy,' But Is Tom Cruise In or Out?

Dec 09, 2015

Sofia Boutella

Are you ready for a monster that is decidedly feminine? We just heard that the villainous Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, played by Gwendoline Christine, was originally envisioned by writers J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan as a male character.

Now comes word that the titular creature in Universal's upcoming new version of The Mummy will be portrayed by a woman. Sofia Boutella, who broke out with her role in Kingsman: The Secret Service, is in talks to star as the mummified monster, according to THR.


In the 1932 original, Boris Karloff portrayed Imhotep, an Egyptian priest who was buried alive because he attempted to resurrect his forbidden lover. He is revived in the 20th century and seeks the reincarnation of his lost love. Through the various sequels and remakes, the revived mummy was played by the likes of Lon Chaney Jr., Christopher Lee, Arnold Vosloo and Jet Li. One thing they had in common: the mummy was always a villain and was always portrayed by a male actor.

Alex Kurtzman is directing The Mummy, based on a screenplay by Jon Spaihts. We know nothing about the plot, and all we know about the premise is that it's reportedly set in the modern day. Tom Cruise is still in negotiations to star, although it's not clear precisely how he will be able to fit this into his schedule, in view of his other upcoming commitments, most notably the sixth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise.

Even if his schedue allows, however, The Mummy is only the first in a series of reboots that Universal is planning for its classic monsters as part of a shared universe in which leadng characters appear in other installments, as in the Marvel movies. Is Cruise willing to make that kind of multi-film commitment at this point of his career?

Whatever happens with Cruise, this is potentially an exciting development for Boutella. Born in Algeria, she is an actress as well as a dancer -- she toured with Madonna -- and she's still at an early point in her career. Kingsman was her breakout role, and she certainly impressed as one of Samuel L. Jackson's villainous henchmen. She also handles herself well in interviews.


The role in Kingsman led to her being cast in Star Trek Beyond. She is currently filming The Coldest City, starring Charlie Theron. As a point of interest, she is reportedly 5' 5" tall, which is a bit shorter than, say, Arnold Vosloo (standing more than 6 feet tall), but sounds perfect if Cruise (5' 7") ends up starring.

Whoever ends up as the primary villain, The Mummy is heading to theaters on March 24, 2017.

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