For those of you who got round to seeing the new Mummy film – you might have noticed there’s a certain scene in the film where we very briefly spot The Book Of Amun-Ra.
For longtime fans of the older films, this was significant. Firstly because this golden book is one of the key plot elements from The Mummy back in 1999. Secondly, if it exists in the new Mummy film, it might imply that the events of the original film(s) did, in fact, take place before the newest Mummy film and that the new film is not a reboot, a remake or a do-over – it actually shares the same universe.
The Book Of Amun-Ra was the golden book that was able to kill The High Priest Imhotep in The Mummy film which starred Brendan Fraser. This golden book showed up in the new film – Did you see it?
My question here is, did Imhotep’s Mummy precede that of Ahmanet?
Is it possible that this is, in fact, the same universe and that the new film takes place after the original Mummy?
The answer is – yes, this is very possible.
Let’s examine some facts…
The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy (2017) are both made by Universal Pictures and they have made no secret of the fact that they are attempting to launch a shared movie universe named The Dark Universe. The Dark Universe contains many legendary monsters such as Dracula and Frankenstein and so on and so forth. The aim is to have them all be able to appear effortlessly in the same Universe in a sort of Marvel Shared Universe type arrangement.
Both Mummy films being made by the same studio means that the original Mummy back in 1999 probably still took place in the Dark Universe and that many of its events led to what we see in the new Mummy film. It was a clever little nod to past events for those with eyes keen enough to spot it.
Now, as we see in the new film, there is an organization named The Prodigium and their business is hunting monsters. The concept, I’ll be honest – It’s a little bit of a cliche by now and has been done so many times before in other films and series. I mean, Hellboy, Van Helsing, Hellsing, Grimm, Supernatural, the list goes on and on. I had hoped for something slightly more original…
Anyway, with Dr. Jekyll at the helm – this ‘Prodigium’ seems to have already met and defeated numerous monsters by the time we meet them through Nick Morton in 2017. This implies that they have been around for quite some time and have some experience in dealing with monsters as observed through the great number of artifacts and creature remains they possess.
Not to put too fine a point on it… but the stroll Nick Morton takes through The Prodigium is basically an advert for all the films The Dark Universe hopes to produce, so, you know, spoiler alert…
Now, the name ‘Prodigium’ has a deeper meaning – it’s Greek, in fact, we find it’s origins in Ancient Greek Religion. Simply put –
Prodigium – Prodigia (plural) were unnatural deviations from the predictable order of the cosmos. A prodigium signaled divine displeasure at a religious offense and must be expiated to avert more destructive expressions of divine wrath. Compare ostentum and portentum, signs denoting an extraordinary inanimate phenomenon, and monstrum and miraculum, an unnatural feature in humans.
Okay that’s pretty cool but Dr. Jekyll mentions to Nick Morton that Ahmanet is by far the most ancient evil they’ve ever dealt with – they couldn’t have been around since Ancient Greece, otherwise they’d already have encountered much older evils. Right?
This might mean that while they were around for a time, they do not date as far back as The Medjai who were around since the days of The High Priest Imhotep’s original Mummification.
If the films are in fact connected through The Book Of Amun-Ra, The Prodigium might even contain former members of the Medjai from the original Mummy film with Brendan Fraser.
I can also say with semi-certainty that The Prodigium was not around in 1926 when Imhotep was first awoken by looters and began running rampant. If they were around then The Prodigium would have already encountered an evil as old as Ahmanet in the form of Imhotep, wouldn’t they? This, in turn, means Dr. Jekyll would have pretty much had nothing to say to Nick Morton – it would have just been another day at the office to hunt down Ahmanet.
If we examine the Dark Universe Timeline – As one of the earliest Universal monsters on record – The Hunchback, He first appeared in Paris in 1482, The Mummy (Imhotep) rose in 1926 in Egypt. There’s 444 years difference here.
Logic would dictate that had The Prodigium existed in 1482 they would have taken out The Hunchback without issue and with 400 years worth of experience and monster slaying in between, they would have been more than able to take down Imhotep in 1926. This would eventually lead them into 2017 where they would face Ahmanet. Since they did not face Imhotep, Ahmanet is the first of her kind that they’ve encountered.
They would have had the means and ability to detect something like Imhotep waking up, though… right? I mean, that didn’t all just happen without them knowing, did it?
I think it’s safe to say that The Prodigium was founded somewhere during the 1930’s and most likely by former members of The Medjai and people like Rick O’Connell after a rise of monster activity across the globe following Imhotep. Hell, Van Helsing, Alan Quartermain, and Captain Nemo might even be part of the organization for all we know. Rick might even be a founding member! I mean, Brendan Fraser was notably absent for a cameo in the film, but it doesn’t rule out the possibility that Rick existed or had something to do with The Prodigium.
Anyway, this exact timeline (1930 onwards) would put The Prodigium right on track to encounter Dracula and various other monstrosities right through to present day 2017.
If this is all, in fact, true and the point stands that it would have been very hard to ignore the events that took place in plain sight during all 3 previous Mummy films in a shared universe – it’s very likely that The Prodigium exists, partially as a result of Imhotep’s awakening in 1926. Brendan Fraser’s Mummy film might be the very reason the forming of such an organization was even necessary.
This would be why they possess The Book Of Amun-Ra and numerous other relics. – For safe keeping. Memento’s too dangerous for use or display to the general population. Item’s with some supernatural meaning or power locked away forever. I mean, uh…until the 2017 Mummy film screwed up the entire Prodigium HQ, that is.
So – that’s my theory! I hope you had fun reading this.
What do you think? Tell me in the comments below!
Editors Note: December 2017 Update – The Dark Universe has officially been scrapped and will no longer continue to move forward or produce new films.
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