Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe Offer Another Reason to Unwrap 'The Mummy'

Finally, it's time for the Cruise/Crowe showdown.
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Russell Crowe in 'The Mummy'

With The Mummy just days away, promotion for the first movie in Universal's Dark Universe shared cinematic universe has stepped up to the plate by finally giving the audience what it wants: a chance to see two movie stars fight.

Tom Cruise on Wednesday shared a behind-the-scenes video from the Alex Kurtzman-directed film on Twitter, showing a rehearsal for something that the many trailers for the feature have so far have kept hidden: a showdown between Cruise's character and Russell Crowe's Dr. Jekyll.

Although technically a spoiler — aren't both of the characters supposed to be on the same side? — the teaser is one of the most effective for the upcoming pic by dint of the fact that it cuts straight to what might be the biggest appeal of Dark Universe right now: that it will feature big-name actors on screen at the same time.

Certainly, initial promotion for the Dark Universe was heavy on star power, with as much weight placed on the promotional photo of Cruise, Crowe, Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp and Sofia Boutella together, with subsequent news on the property suggesting that Angelina Jolie and Dwayne Johnson could sign up for roles. Given the source material monsters might be a little passé for today's audience, the lure of seeing big names share the screen — even if they happen to look like Wolfmen, Mummies or any other type of monster — becomes the primary draw for the shared universe … at least for now.

With tracking for The Mummy looking underwhelming, the idea of shifting direction for the movie's promotion is probably a good one. But is this a shift that will come too late for audiences to notice, never mind care?

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