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The Mummy Director Explains The Film's Ending

Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Mummy

Tom Cruise's transformation in the third act of The Mummy is quite shocking, and director Alex Kurtzman is here to break it down. Kurtzman recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to explain just what happened at the end of the film, what it means for Cruise's character, and how it could potentially set up a sequel pic. 

Though The Mummy centers around the titular creature, played by Kingsman actress Sofia Boutella, Cruise's Nick takes his own monstrous turn in the final moments of the movie. Nick hands himself over to death in order to bring his partner in adventure Jenny, played by Anabelle Wallis, back to life. In doing so, Nick becomes a monster, his face shrouded in thick bandages. This seemed to indicate that Nick is far too terrifying for anyone to look at, and that when his deformed visage is finally revealed, reactions will be intense. 

Kurtzman stated that the decision to cover Cruise's face in the last moments was "definitely a conscious choice... that evolved out of a lot of design work." According to the director, the design team went through multiple options, from turning Cruise "into an absolute monster" to doing a half-and-half version that showed off "little details." However, Kurtzman settled on what he calls "the hide the shark theory."

He explained further: "If you give the audience just enough that their imagination can run wild, it tends to be far more effective than just letting them see everything in the harsh light of day. That led to the idea that what we didn't see will be far scarier than what we did see... you can't quite process exactly what it is. You can tell something is very wrong. But you can't quite tell what it is."

Kurtzman emphasized that the silhouetted Cruise was "very much designed from the idea that what you don't see is going to be scarier," lending a kind of "subjectivity to the storytelling" because the audience is trying to see Cruise's Nick just as Jenny was. "I'm kind of tying her experience to the audience's experience and hopefully it makes you lean in a little more to wondering what it looks like," Kurtzman said. 

Now that Nick is apparently a full-blown monster, gifted with the powers of life and death, it seems inevitable that he'll appear on screen again. And Kurztman agrees. When asked about Nick's future, Kurtzman stated its "entirely possible" he'll show up in other Dark Universe films.

Before Cruise gets bandaged up for another Mummy movie, he'll return to his roots for Top Gun: Maverick. Until then, check out these upcoming sequels you didn't know were being made.