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Exclusive Behind the Scenes: Tom Cruise Goes Zero Gravity For New 'Mummy' Movie

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The Mummy Tom Cruise Annabell Wallis

As we already know, Tom Cruise refuses to let stuntmen step in for him during dangerous movie stunts. His next starring role in THE MUMMY is no different and director Alex Kurtzman can attest to Cruise’s daredevil side. Along with a new THE MUMMY trailer, a behind the scenes featurette accompanied the preview showing the actors and crew floating around in zero gravity. THE MUMMY director reveals that was all practical effects, and that scene was actually shot in zero gravity on a plane used to train NASA astronauts. The director described how far Cruise is willing to go for his craft including going mano-a-mano with his MUMMY co-star Russell Crowe.

Alex Kurtzman, the writer/producer turned director, gave a select number of press the chance to watch THE MUMMY trailer before it’s launch along with a behind the scene look at some of the wild stunts in THE MUMMY. He also shared his vision for the film that’s set to kick off Universal Pictures’ new monster universe.

In the first trailer for THE MUMMY, an action scene has a cargo plane going down with the free falling actors. Kurtzman says Cruise knew right away how to shoot that scene to make it realistic. He suggested using the Vomit Comet, a plane that trains astronauts and simulates the G-Force of a rocket. When it levels out, you free fall for 22 seconds. In the behind the scenes, you see the sequence in which Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis and other actors shoot in actual zero gravity. The actors weren’t simply acting, those were “real scares” says Kurtzman.  

Another behind the scenes sequence has an epic fight between Cruise and Russell Crowe’s Jr. Jekyll. Kurtzman revealed both actors “refused” to have stuntmen for the on-screen brawl. Both actors insisted they play out the scene themselves and proceeded to do so over a 4 day shoot that Kurtzman referred to as “very brutal” and physically challenging as they really did throw themselves across rooms and on top of tables.

“When you have actors that experienced, their understanding for the mechanics of their bodies is so finely tuned," according to the director. "It’s like dealing with two incredible race cars who are utterly aware of each other ’s space, look totally real and visceral but are understanding the centimeter that they need to pass so they don’t actually hit each other. I found it humbling to be in the presence of the two actors.”

The Mummy Russell Crowe

The men aren’t the only ones having fun. Two strong woman take the lead as well with Sofia Boutella as the Mummy/Princess Ahmanet, and Annabelle Wallis as Cruise’s partner.  As we see in the trailer and behind the scenes, Wallis braved the zero gravity looking mortified while we already know Boutella is adept at physically-challenging roles having proven herself deadly in STAR TREK BEYOND (2016) and KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (2014).

Kurtzman teases Cruise’s character may not be saving the day in THE MUMMY, so perhaps one of the ladies will do so on his behalf. As of late, Tom Cruise has let the women take the lead in equally strong roles such as Emily Blunt in EDGE OF TOMORROW, Rebecca Ferguson in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION and Cobie Smulders in JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK.

The Mummy Sofia Botella scary

It was actually Kurtzman who suggested switching the Mummy from a male character to a female role.  “There was no hesitation on the studios part,” says the writer behind THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 and STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. Once he changed the gender of the Mummy, it opened up new avenues and the “ideas came natural.”

THE MUMMY trailer and behind the scenes first look definitely look intriguing, and CineMovie, for one, is  very excited to see this movie launch Universal Pictures' reboot of the monster universe when it opens June 9, 2017.

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