Russell Crowe is probably practicing his scary face in the mirror this morning. The actor is set to join Universal’s Monster Cinematic Universe as Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde, according to Variety. He will first make an appearance in The Mummy alongside Tom Cruise, before appearing in his own standalone movie. Universal has high hopes that a series of monster films, including The Invisible Man with Johnny Depp and reboots of Frankenstein and The Wolf Man will help the studio rival Disney, Marvel and Warner Bros. in having a blockbuster franchise all of its own. At the moment, the only real moneymaking series of movies on the Universal slate is the Fast and Furious franchise (which, to be fair, is pretty monstrous at the box office.)
Tom Hardy was scheduled to play Jekyll, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt was also considered before Crowe stepped in. Audiences have not been entertained by Crowe in quite some time (see what I did there?) so here’s hoping the Jekyll/Hyde thing works out for him. The Robert Louis Stevenson character, a mainstay of the horror genre, has been portrayed several times, most famously by Fredric March and Spencer Tracy.