(Spoiler warning: Do not read if you haven’t seen “The Mummy”)
The Alex Kurtzman-directed reboot of Universal’s “The Mummy” starring Tom Cruise brings the cursed Egyptian monster into the modern era. In doing that, it seems to erase Universal’s last reboot of the franchise, 1999’s “The Mummy” that starred Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser.
But while the new version of “The Mummy” isn’t a sequel to the 1999 movie, it does contain an Easter Egg reference to that film. It’s even enough of one to suggest the 2017 and 1999 movies exist in the same universe.
The Easter Egg pops up when Cruise’s character, Nick Morton, and Egyptologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) meet up with Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Jekyll runs Prodigium, a monster-hunting and evil-fighting secret group that’s trying to find and destroy the movie’s mummy.
In the Prodigium headquarters, they also have a bunch of relics, trophies and samples from other monsters. They include the hand of the Creature of the Black Lagoon, the skull of a vampire, and a particular gold book: the Book of Amun Ra.
In the 1999 version of “The Mummy,” there are two mystical books that control life and death. The Black Book of the Dead resurrects the movie’s mummy, Imhotep. Toward the end of the film, the heroes discover another book — the Golden Book of Amun Ra, or the Book of Life. The Gold Book allows the heroes to break the mummy’s curse and renders Imhotep mortal, so they can defeat him.
The book is also on the Prodigium’s shelves. Halsey finds it during the sequence in which Dr. Jekyll transforms into Mr. Hyde. As she tries to save Nick from Hyde’s wrath, she pulls a heavy golden book from the shelf and uses it to knock out Malik (Marwan Kenzari), Jekyll’s assistant. When she drops the book on the floor, Fraser fans get a good look at the Book of Amun Ra.
It seems unlikely that much more from the 1999 version of “The Mummy” will pop up in Universal’s new Dark Universe, but who knows — the original film takes place in the late 1920s, almost 100 years before the start of the Dark Universe films. Maybe it’s all one big, multi-mummy cinematic universe.