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The Mummy trailer is selling an extended universe nobody asked for

The latest and “final” trailer for The Mummy is flush with creepy special effects, Tom Cruise, and somewhat sadly, complete sound. It also boldly reminds viewers that we’re not just looking at a single new film: this is just the first in an entire series of upcoming monster films.

“Witness the beginning of a dark universe,” the trailer proclaims — possibly in reference to the rise of the film’s Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), but more likely an overt nod to the “Universal Monsters” world-building the movie is doing. While Cruise may ostensibly be the hero in The Mummy, Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll acts as a sort of Nick Fury for a whole mess of movie monsters pulled from Universal’s history. Think the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, and Abraham Van Helsing, and you’ll get the idea.

It’s the team-up that no one has really asked for, but Marvel’s superhero hits have become the go-to Hollywood franchise strategy. If The Mummy wants to successfully lay the groundwork for a series, however, it will need to stand alone as a good film first, and create likable characters with Crowe and Cruise. That’s a tough ask when you’re trying to make the Wolf Man as cool as Tony Stark — and a gamble when you haven’t even released a single film in the soon-to-be franchise.

The Mummy hits theaters June 9th.

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