An interesting piece of information about The Mummy came out recently. In an interview with Cinemablend, director Alex Kurtzman revealed that his original idea for the character was very different. First, he said, the Mummy was going to be a man. Also:
"The Mummy had been born with a skin pigmentation that at the time would have made him really sort of an outcast. And I thought it was an interesting backstory, because it began to tell the story of someone who had been bullied, which I found topical. I was reaching for a way to make the Mummy a character who is relatable, understandable, and that spoke to issues that we're dealing with now."
The "pigmentation" was going to be blue. So what stopped the Mummy from joining the Blue Man Group? The post-credits scene for X-Men: Days of Future Past...
The scene shows a young Apocalypse. He stands before chanting worshippers in Ancient Egypt, single-handedly creating the pyramids with his powers. And he's in robes. And he's blue. Kurtzman continued:
"[A]nd it was, I kid you not, the exact same design. And I was like, 'Oh, man! That is not good!' And actually it was the catalyst, it was the moment of, 'Okay, not only is this not going to be different enough, Bryan Singer just did it, I definitely don't want to go down that road.'"
Kurtzman had always toyed with the idea of making the Mummy female, and X-Men forced the issue. We get a cool role for a woman, she looks pretty bad-ass, everyone wins. The end.
Except... why was the Mummy going to be blue?
In the original 1932 film, the Mummy is a priest named Imhotep. His lover dies and he uses forbidden magic to try to resurrect her. He gets caught and is buried alive for his crime. The 1999 version features this plot as well. Thus, The Mummy is a tragic love story, much like Dracula, in which the "monster" searches for the reincarnation of his past love.
Unlike Kurtzman's original idea, the Mummy wasn't an outcast. He wasn't bullied. He was a priest, after all, a member of the Pharaoh's inner circle. So it will be interesting to see what other changes Kurtzman has in store, or if the storyline still has romance at its core. A monster causing chaos without reason—like, say, Godzilla—isn't interesting for very long. If Ahmanet, the new Mummy, is supposed to be the protagonist, and even continue her story in other Universal films, I hope her driving force similar to the one in the classic film.
As Boris Karloff says in that movie, "My love has lasted longer than the temples of our gods. No man ever suffered as I did for you. But the rest you may not know. Not until you are about to pass through the great night of terror and triumph. Until you are ready to face moments of horror for an eternity of love."
Powerful stuff. The Mummy has a lot to live up to.