Lesson Learned from 2017’s #TheMummy: Don’t Put the Dark Universe Before the Story.

22552559_10159496649920346_2837675341111443380_nThis week I recruited a certain special someone to help cover this particular post. Bo’s been a fan of the Universal Monster films since childhood, so when Universal announced a “Dark Universe” series of monster films, we…weren’t that thrilled.

We first discuss what kind of character would have been a far more fitting choice for introducing an audience to this “new” universe.

Next, we go into the film/book industry’s obsession with investing in a story series instead of standalone stories. It gets us going on a comparison between the beginnings of the 2017 film vs. the 1932 version with Boris Karloff.

I then jump to the ending, and Bo patiently works me through my agony of an Egyptian god being defeated solely by Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise. “The Power of Cruise Compels You!”

So, as writers, what can we learn from this film? Bo reflects on this cautionary tale of a cinematic debacle.

Aaaand my recorder gave out. 🙂 Bo and I manage a little sum-up before it dies again.

Do not make the same errors in your story-world as these Dark Universe creators: don’t let the Power of Cruise compel you to think of the universe’s marketability instead of simply telling a good story.

Thank you all for listening this Halloween weekend. Think I should have Bo come back again?


43 thoughts on “Lesson Learned from 2017’s #TheMummy: Don’t Put the Dark Universe Before the Story.

  1. Hi Bo! It was great to hear you share your film-tastic opinions on this!
    I will say, the movie DOES sound riff-worthy…maybe you two should take that task on 🙂
    I’m trying to remember my dates- was the Karloff film a ‘talkie’ or silent?
    Top Gun 2…sigh. Think all of the old fellas will going in for another volleyball scene? I’m not sure it’ll quite have the same effect these days…
    Too bad it couldn’t have been as good as the Peanuts movie, (we bought it on your recommendation, you know) which we watched again last night 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I know! I love the Peanuts Movie. And one thing I was going to say in the talk with Bo but forgot was that a kid’s film had a better approach to surprise reveals than this film. The Batman Lego movie’s trailers, books, etc. have NOTHING of Sauron, King Kong, and all the other crazy Phantom Zone villains. You only experience that reveal when you see the film. Now I know Bo says that’s probably licensing fees, but still–it makes for a hilarious reveal in the film.
      How do the makers of a kid’s movie get this, and not the “Dark Universe” people?
      PS–it’s a talkie. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I laughed so much when I read this – “my agony of an Egyptian god being defeated solely by Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise. “The Power of Cruise Compels You!”” Thank you for confirming what my gut was telling me; you’re awesome. Thanks to Bo, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my word, I loved watching Karloff’s films when I was ickle little. The mention of Karloff is a true blast from the past for me and now you have me looking at some trailers for his films- fabulous!!! Also, not one of his but, just had a look at the trailer for ‘The Fly’ with Vincent Price, Tell me, what have modern films got on these gems? Modern films are all about making the pretty boy or girl look prettier and stories are treated as an afterthought. A gross generalisation, I know, but I hope you know what I mean. Cruise can ‘cruise on.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, you are NOT far off with your generalization. I’ve been seeing that more and more. Well here, let’s take a kid-ish movie franchise that failed: Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The book series starred kids, and few of them were “lookers” by society’s standards. Movie versions? Everyone’s hot. Even the cyclops gets to be hot. Oh, and teen-aged instead of ELEVEN, AAAAAND let’s not have a real antagonist in the first film. Nah, we don’t need The Titans. Let’s make this about kids mad at their god-parents who don’t pay enough attention! Because social commentary’s where it’s at! (throws books in the air, holds head in hands)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hehe! “Even the cyclops gets to be hot” – Love it! In my minds eye, capturing the true spirit of the cyclops look….I wish I could just un-see that. Don’t get me started on the downgrade/demotion of the Titans…They say we live in an age of Trivia,(sigh). x

        Liked by 1 person

      • We certainly do. Although I will admit, I’m almost tempted to watch The Giver. I loved that book as a kid. When I saw the trailer, saw teenagers and angst and love-stuff, I groaned and left it well enough alone. But sometime, forget when, I read/heard somewhere that Jeff Bridges spent TWENTY YEARS trying to get permission from Lois Lowry to make that film. Holy cow! So there is this part of me that wonders if that scale of passion and determination could maybe mean that the teen-ness didn’t downgrade the story as much as the trailer led me to believe.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s