Russell Crowe in Talks To Play Dr. Jekyll in Tom Cruise's THE MUMMY

Universal Pictures is ramping up its cinematic universe full of classic monsters, and The Mummy reboot is first out of the gate. Variety reports that Russell Crowe is in talks to join that film as a Dr. Jekyll-like character, a part that could eventually lead to his own spin-off down the line. It sounds like the plan is to pull a Batman v Superman and introduce a handful of classic characters as cameos in that movie before they each get spin-off films, though some — like Johnny Depp's Invisible Man — will apparently first appear in standalone movies.

Tom Cruise is starring in The Mummy alongside Kingsman: The Secret Service star Sofia Boutella (who is playing the title character), Annabella Wallis, and Jake Johnson. Alex Kurtzman, who is overseeing the whole slate of monster reboots at the studio with Chris Morgan, is directing from a script by Jon Spaihts. Crowe hasn't done franchise work like this before, so it'll be interesting to see if he can work well in a producer-driven machine like the one Kevin Feige has perfected at Marvel Studios.

Meanwhile, if you're interested in the character and haven't seen the BBC series Jekyll, seek that out. It's pretty great.

The Mummy hits theaters on June 9th, 2017.

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