Russell Crowe, who stars in Shane Black’s upcoming action comedy The Nice Guys, is in talks to join Universal’s monster universe as classic literary characters Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
If a deal is made, Crowe would appear as the tormented doctor who changes into a murderous madman in The Mummy before potentially starring in his own film.
Mummy is already shooting in London with Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson.
It’s important to note that Crowe is in early talks and that any potential deal could fall apart, which has happened before for this role. Universal was in talks with Tom Hardy and that fell apart. It was then in talks with Javier Bardem, but that too went nowhere.
The storyline is set in the modern day with Cruise playing a special forces soldier (or former soldier), according to sources. Wallis, one of the stars of British gangster show Peaky Blinders, will play a scientist while Boutella, who had a breakout role in Kingsman: The Secret Service, will take on the titular role. Jake Johnson is playing a member of the military.
The script calls for the appearance of Henry Jekyll, who is best known to horror aficionados as the doctor who invents a serum that allows himself to be turned into a depraved and hideous man known as Mr. Hyde. The two first appeared in the novella The Strange Tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Robert Louis Stevenson, who also authored Treasure Island.
Universal already is developing movies ranging from The Bride of Frankenstein to The Creature From the Black Lagoon that would join The Mummy in this shared universe. Hyde also would be part of that universe.
(The character was already part of a Justice League of classic monsters of sorts in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the 2003 adaptation of the Alan Moore-Kevin O’Neill comics that also included Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker and Dorian Gray, among others.)
Alex Kurtzman is directing The Mummy and producing with Chris Morgan and Sean Daniel.